Stocks Slide After Fed Rate Hike

Oil prices surged after a surprise stockpiles drop

by Patrick Martin

Published on Mar 21, 2018 at 4:25 PM

The Dow was up 250 points soon after the Fed officially raised interest rates and forecast three rate hikes in 2018, as expected, briefly sending the 10-year Treasury yield soaring. The central bank also said "the economic outlook has strengthened in recent months," and raised its projections for the fed funds rate in 2019. However, stocks waffled and eventually turned lower following new Fed Chair Jerome Powell's first press conference, where he noted that some central bank members are growing concerned about trade policies. By the close, the Dow, S&P, and Nasdaq were in the red.

Continue reading for more on today's market, including:

  • Don't touch these 2 tech stocks next week.
  • Analyst: "Buy" this red-hot drug stock.
  • Why this food stock had its worst day in years. 
  • Plus, a Micron earnings preview; the FAANG stock to avoid; and a struggling pharma stock.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 24,682.31) finished 45 points, or 0.2%, lower. Today saw 12 Dow stocks close in positive territory, led by Chevron (CVX) with a 2.2% gain. AAPL was the worst of the other 18, shedding 2.3%.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 2,711.93) gave back 5 points, or 0.2%. The Nasdaq Composite (IXIC - 7,345.29) shed 19 points, or 0.3%. 

The Cboe Volatility Index (VIX - 17.86) finished 0.3 point, or 1.9%, lower.

closing indexes summary march 21

nyse and nasdaq stats march 21

5 Items on Our Radar Today

  1. Sales of existing U.S. homes were up in 3% in February, snapping a two-month skid. The increase comes despite rising home prices and fewer homes available on the open market, and indicates home buying may pick up as spring rolls around. (USA Today)
  2. More than 4,000 flights have been canceled in the wake of the latest nor'easter. According to data from FlightAware, it's been the worst March for cancellations in at least five years. (CNBC)
  3. Micron stock could make big moves on Friday. 
  4. Why traders may want to avoid this FAANG stock next week.  
  5. Options traders are piling on this struggling pharma stock

 corporate earnings march 21

unusual options volume march 21

Data courtesy of Trade-Alert

Oil Surges on Surprise Inventories Drop

April-dated crude futures rose $1.63, or 2.6%, to end at $65.17 per barrel, the highest point since early February. Prices surged after the Energy Information Association (EIA) reported a surprise drop in U.S. crude inventories last week.

Gold futures for April delivery spiked $9.60, or 0.7%, to close at $1,321.50 an ounce. The malleable metal has continued higher in electronic trading, after the U.S. central bank said it will raise interest rates three times this year. 


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