NASDAQ 100, Dow Jones, S&P 500 News: Markets Surge as Investors Eye Fed’s Next Move, Powell’s Remarks

James Hyerczyk
Updated: Sep 20, 2023, 15:24 GMT+00:00

Dow Jones, Nasdaq Composite and S&P 500 surge as markets await the Fed's pivotal rate decision, economic forecasts and Chair Powell's remarks.

S&P 500 Index, Nasdaq Composite, Dow Jones

In this article:


  • Crude oil prices ease, 10-year Treasury yields retreat, affecting market sentiment.
  • Major focus: Fresh insights into the Fed’s economic projections and future policies.
  • Powell’s upcoming press conference expected to guide market trends post-rate decision.

Fed’s Upcoming Decision Stirs the Market

The major US. stock indexes opened the cash market higher on Wednesday morning as the financial world eagerly anticipates the Federal Reserve’s impending interest rate decision. This surge comes as crude oil prices, after exceeding $92 on Tuesday, showed a marginal decline and the 10-year Treasury yield receded from its 16-year high.

At 14:36 GMT, the blue chip Dow is trading 34618.66, up 100.93 or +0.29%. The tech-weighted Nasdaq Composite is at 13699.47, up 21.28 or +0.16% and the benchmark S&P 500 Index is trading 4455.08, up 11.13 or +0.25%.

Daily S&P 500 Index

Understanding the Rate Hike Speculations

The key focus of investors remains the Federal Reserve’s forthcoming interest rate announcement. Although a status quo is anticipated, all eyes will be on the fresh insights into the Fed’s future policies and economic projections. This includes critical economic indicators such as the gross domestic product, inflation, and unemployment rates.

A continuous concern in the market has been the impact of higher rates on the U.S. economy, potentially leading it towards a recession. Although the Fed officials have not dismissed further rate hikes, the financial community remains hopeful for the cycle’s end. Since its initiation in March 2022, the central bank has consistently increased rates, aiming to curb inflation and regulate the economic pace.

Decoding the Inflation Narrative

Recent consumer and producer price index reports hint at persisting inflationary pressures, albeit at a moderate rate. Despite these indicators, the immediate focus after the rate decision will be on Chairman Jerome Powell’s press conference. His statements are poised to dictate market volatility.

Typically, hawkish comments might exert pressure on stocks, while dovish ones could have a bullish effect. Notably, the Fed had escalated its benchmark rate in July to a 22-year high, with futures hinting at a mere 29% probability of another rise in November.

Pre-Opening Bell Movers

In the corporate realm, several firms made waves before the bell rang. Dollar General saw a 2% drop in shares post a downgrade by JPMorgan. Pinterest experienced a 3% premarket surge, following management’s optimistic revenue growth projections for the coming years.

General Mills reported first-quarter results marginally surpassing Wall Street’s expectations, while Instacart’s shares declined nearly 4% a day after its stock market debut.

Other notable mentions include cosmetics maker Coty, Bausch Health, and Goldman Sachs, all experiencing varied share movements based on individual corporate announcements.

Forecast: A Cautious Optimism

With the imminent Federal Reserve decision, the market sentiment leans towards cautious optimism. The primary concerns revolve around the future rate decisions, the trajectory of inflation, and the subsequent impacts on the U.S. economy.

The statements from key Fed personnel, especially Chairman Powell, are expected to either reinforce or pivot current market sentiments. As the financial world holds its breath, investors globally will be tuned in, deciphering every nuance.

About the Author

James is a Florida-based technical analyst, market researcher, educator and trader with 35+ years of experience. He is an expert in the area of patterns, price and time analysis as it applies to futures, Forex, and stocks.

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