Wall Street plummets for second week in a row
S&P 500, the Dow Jones Industrial Average, and the Nasdaq Composite have been down 2.2% on a weekly basis.
Wall Street fell for the second week in a row after Federal Reserve Bank of New York President John Williams indicated that raising interest rates was a "reasonable option" for combating inflation, heightening fears that the economy will enter a slump as a result of the central bank's policies.
The three major stock indices on Wall Street, the S&P 500, the Dow Jones Industrial Average, and the Nasdaq Composite, all sank 1.4% on average last week.
At closing on Thursday, the three major US stock indexes – the S&P 500, the Dow Jones Industrial Average, and the Nasdaq Composite – had fallen by an average of 1.2%. They were down 2.2 % on a weekly basis, completing the week a day early than normal owing to the Good Friday holiday.
Stocks fell in three of the week's four sessions, as Treasury yields jumped on expectations that the Fed may rapidly hike interest rates to confront decades-high inflation. Stock option expirations on Thursday amplify equity market moves.
The yield on the ten-year US Treasury note surpassed 2.8% in Thursday's trading after Williams stated that speeding up the pace of monetary tightening to include half-percentage-point increments is a viable option.
The S&P 500, which includes the top 500 US equities, fell 54 points, or 1.2%, to 4,393. It decreased 2.4% for the week.
The Dow, which encompasses travel and aviation, ended the day down 113 points. It fell a total of 0.4% for the week.
Read more: The US is running out of money, literally (Part I)
On March 16, the US Federal Reserve authorized its first rate rise since the epidemic, boosting rates by 25 basis points, or a quarter percentage point. Since then, several of its policymakers have stated that the March rise was too mild, and that additional forceful hikes of 50 basis points, or half a percentage point, may be required. This year, the Federal Reserve may make up to seven rate changes.
After cutting rates virtually to zero during the COVID-19 epidemic, the Federal Open Market Committee, or FOMC, authorized the first pandemic-era rate rise on March 16, boosting rates by 25 basis points, or a quarter point.
Since then, many FOMC members have determined that the boost was too mild to rein in inflation, which has been accelerating at its highest rate since the 1980s, and that more severe hikes of 50 basis points may be required in the future.
The central bank's usual inflation objective is only 2% per year, which it considers "neutral".