Stocks Log 2nd Day of Wins Following Fed Decision

The central bank hiked interest rates for the first time since 2018

Digital Content Manager
Mar 16, 2022 at 4:30 PM
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Stocks turned volatile on Wednesday afternoon, but managed to turn in sizeable daily wins following the conclusion of the Federal Reserve's two-day meeting. The central bank went more hawkish than many on Wall Street anticipated, hiking its short-term interest rates by a quarter of a percentage point as expected, but signaling six more rate hikes this year in an effort to rein in the recent surge in inflation. The Fed also raised its target range for the federal funds rate to 0.25% to 50%, forecasting a consensus funds rate of 1.9% by the end of the year. This marks the first time the Fed has lifted interest rates since 2018. 

Meanwhile, "significant progress" in the peace talks between Ukraine and Russia is keeping some wind at the market's back, with a ceasefire beginning to look "more realistic," according to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. In response, the Dow and Nasdaq both logged second-straight triple-digit wins, while the S&P 500 added more than 1%, also notching its second daily pop. 

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

  • This blue-chip retailer just announced a massive hiring spree in the U.S. 
  • Can Dollar General stock topple this key trendline after earnings?
  • Plus, a sneak peek at Schaeffer's Playbook of the Week; the vaccine stock on the rise; and checking in on KIRK before its Q4 report.

The Dow Jones Average (DJI - 34,063.10) added 518.8 points, or 1.6% for the day. Boeing (BA) led the gainers with a 5.1% jump, while Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA) paced the losers with a 1.6% drop.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 4,357.86) climbed 95.4 points, or 2.2% for the day, while the Nasdaq Composite (IXIC - 13,436.55) rose 487.9 points, or 3.8% for today's session, marking its biggest daily percentage jump since November 2020.

Lastly, the Cboe Market Volatility Index (VIX - 26.67) lost 3.2 points, or 10.6% for the day.

Closing Indexes Summary March 16

NYSE and Nasdaq Stats March 16

5 Things To Know Today

  1. In an effort to combat rising gas prices, which have been eating into drivers' earnings, Lyft (LYFT) announced that starting next week it will be adding a 55 cent surcharge onto each ride.(CNBC)
  2. U.S. President Joe Biden offered $1 billion in military assistance to Ukraine after the country's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy requested more help for its forces and additional sanctions on Russia as he spoke to the U.S. Congress. (MarketWatch)
  3. Check out Schaeffer's latest Playbook of the Week, which talks all about Fed hikes. 
  4. Booster shot news is giving this vaccine stock a bump. 
  5. A look a Kirkland's stock performance and fundamentals ahead of its quarterly report. 

There were no earnings of note today.

Unusual Options Activity March 16

Oil Sinks to 3rd-Straight Loss

Oil prices clocked their third-straight daily drop on Wednesday, after the Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported a rise in U.S. crude supplies -- its first in three weeks. Also weighing on the commodity is the sentiment that the climb in oil prices could lead to dwindling demand. April-dated crude lost $1.40 or 1.5%, to settle at $95.04 per barrel.

Gold prices traveled lower for most of the day, settling at their lowest level since Feb. 28 as equities rose. However, the Fed's decision to hike interest rates briefly sent the commodity higher in electronic trading. April-dated gold dropped $20.50, or 1.1%, to settle at $1,909.20 per ounce.


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