The week on Wall St.
With the Fed in focus, the markets experienced wide price swings over the course of last week, as technology companies led the market lower.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 0.24%, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 declined 0.21%. The Nasdaq Composite index dropped 1.54% for the week. The MSCI EAFE index, which tracks developed overseas stock markets, fell 1.99%.1,2,3
A Wild Week
After successive daily gains to begin the week, stocks staged a powerful relief rally in response to Wednesday’s Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) announcement, aided by Fed Chair Powell’s comment that a 75-basis point hike was not under active consideration.
Stocks, however, dropped the following day as investors reassessed the implications of a tighter monetary policy. Also on Thursday, the yield on the 10-year Treasury Note closed above three percent. News that worker productivity fell 7.5% and labor costs rose 11.6% in the first quarter fanned inflation fears and added to investor unease. Despite a better-than-expected employment report, stocks closed out the week with another day of losses amid volatile trading.4
Fed Raises Rates
The May 2022 FOMC meeting resulted in an increase of 50 basis points in the federal funds rate, the largest rate increase since 2000. In a post-meeting press conference, Fed Chair Powell said additional 50 basis point hikes are likely, acknowledging that inflation was much too high and sending assurances that he was committed to price stability.
The Fed also announced that it would begin reducing its $9 trillion balance sheet by $95 billion a month, a step the markets had been anticipating.5
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