Wall Street: US stock markets close lower after release of interest minutes
new York U.S. stock markets closed down on Wednesday after the Federal Reserve released interest rate minutes. For fear of rapidly rising interest rates in the fight against inflation, technology stocks in particular are coming under pressure.
The Dow Jones index of standard values fell 0.4 percent lower to 34,496 points from trading. The tech-heavy Nasdaq fell 2.2 percent to 13,888 points. The broad S&P 500 lost around one percent to 4481 points.
In view of the high inflation, the US Federal Reserve wants to tighten interest rates and probably shrink its balance sheet as early as May. This emerges from the minutes of the March 16 monetary policy meeting. Accordingly, many of the monetary watchdogs believe it is appropriate that a large interest rate hike of half a percentage point or even several such increases in the future may be appropriate.
This applies if inflation risks remain elevated or even intensify. At the March meeting, many members of the Open Market Committee responsible for interest rate policy were already in favor of taking such a large interest rate hike.
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In terms of individual stocks, growth stocks in particular came under selling pressure. Apple, Alphabet, Meta and Tesla fell between 1.8 and 4.1 percent. Amazon’s titles also lost more than three percent. The US Securities and Exchange Commission is deciding in the dispute between the online retailer and investors who, according to a report by the Financial Times, are demanding greater disclosure of tax data from the company.
New sanction packages
In response to alleged war crimes by Russian troops in Ukraine, the US and its allies continue to tighten the thumbscrews on the Russian economy. The US on Wednesday imposed a package of sanctions targeting mostly Russian banks but also targeting the two adult daughters of Russian President Vladimir Putin. “I had made it clear that Russia would immediately pay a heavy price for its atrocities in Bucha,” US President Joe Biden wrote on Twitter. The government in Moscow denies any responsibility for the killings in the Kyiv suburb during the Russian occupation.
The new sanctions would primarily hit Russia’s Sberbank, which holds a third of all Russian banking assets, and Alfabank, the country’s fourth-largest financial institution, US officials said. However, energy businesses are exempt from the latest measures.
Jetblue scares off investors with takeover plans
Investors on Wall Street reacted skeptically to JetBlue Airways’ billion-dollar takeover bid for US low-cost airline Spirit. JetBlue shares tumbled nearly 10 percent at peak; Spirit Airlines shares fell as much as 6.2 percent but narrowed their losses to 2.3 percent during the course of trading. JetBlue torpedoed Spirit’s plans to merge with Frontier Group with its $3.6 billion bid for Spirit. Stockbrokers expected an intensive antitrust review of the project.
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