US futures move after Fed decision triggers Wednesday sell-off

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Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) as the Federal Reserve Board Chairman Jerome Powell holds a news conference on December 19, 2018 in New York City.

Spencer Platt | Getty Images

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) as the Federal Reserve Board Chairman Jerome Powell holds a news conference on December 19, 2018 in New York City.

U.S. futures fell during trade on Thursday morning stateside after all three major indexes dropped following the Federal Reserve’s decision to hike interest rates.

Dow Jones Industrial Average futures fell 202 points, implying a decline of 229.66 points for the Dow at Thursday’s open, as of 12:13 a.m. ET Thursday. Meanwhile, S&P 500 and Nasdaq futures also pointed to declines for the two indexes at the open.

The movement after the closing bell came after the Fed decided to hike its benchmark overnight lending rate by one quarter point on Wednesday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell more than 350 points following the Fed’s decision and pushed the major indexes to new lows for the year.

The Dow, S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite all notched new closing and intraday lows for 2018 on Wednesday.

For traders, the Fed’s statement and Chairman Jerome Powell’s subsequent press conference did not suggest that the central bank would slow its pace of rate hikes as quickly as some had hoped. Markets took a leg lower during Powell’s comments that the central bank would continue to reduce the size of its balance sheet at the current pace.

“I think that the run-off of the balance sheet has been smooth and has served its purpose,” Powell said during a news conference. “I don’t see us changing that.”

The Dow and S&P 500, which are both in corrections, are on track for their worst December performance since the Great Depression in 1931, down more than 8 percent and 9 percent, respectively, this month. The S&P 500 is now in the red for 2018 by 6.3 percent.

The Dow has lost over 1,250 points this week.



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