US stocks end lower after Fed puts interest rate hike in focus

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Wall Street’s major indexes closed lower on Thursday, with the Nasdaq down 2.5% leading losses as investors took profits, particularly in technology stocks, after a three-day rally in a day when several US central bank officials commented on inflation and interest rate hikes.

Growth and interest rate-sensitive stocks lagged the broader market in the last session before the start of the fourth-quarter corporate earnings season. The S&P technology index fell 2.7%, while consumer discretionary slipped 2%.

Several Fed officials have spoken out publicly about the fight against high inflation, with Director Lael Brainard becoming the latest major Fed official to signal that the central bank is preparing to start raising interest rates in March.

“When Brainard says we have to do something, they will do something,” Brad McMillan, chief investment officer at Commonwealth Financial Network, an independent brokerage in Waltham, Massachusetts, said of one of the most “dovish” (flexible with inflation) ) Fed officials.

“There doesn’t seem to be a lot of debate within the Fed about where they’re going, and not even a lot about how quickly they should get there,” he added.

The S&P 500 index closed down 1.42% at 4,659.03 points. The Dow Jones fell 0.49% to 36,113.62 points. The Nasdaq Composite technology index fell 2.51% to 14,806.81 points.

Reference: CNN Brasil

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