Federal Reserve’s monetary policy decision, in which policymakers highlighted the ongoing economic concerns spurred by the coronavirus pandemic and measures taken to contain it. Meanwhile, market participants eyed a rise in new coronavirus cases in key states including Arizona, Florida, North Carolina and Texas.
Shares of companies that have been among the most set to benefit from easing social distancing measures pointed to another session of steep declines. Carriers American Airlines, United Airlines and Delta dropped in early trading Thursday, pointing to a third straight day of losses. Cruise companies Carnival, Royal Caribbean and Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, along with lodging firms Wynn and Hilton, also tracked toward a third consecutive down day.
The Federal Open Market Committee’s (FOMC) Summary of Economic Projections indicated the Fed expects a steep 6.5% contraction in real GDP in 2020, with an unemployment rate at 9.3%. However, policymakers expect real GDP to rebound by 5.0% in 2021, with the unemployment rate dropping to 6.5%.
In its monetary policy decision, the Fed projected interest rates would remain near zero through 2022 and telegraphed that its pace of asset purchases would remain at minimum at the current rate.
did suggest the FOMC would continue discussing the mechanism going forward.
“Even though today’s FOMC meeting was somewhat of a placeholder until more meaningful choices are made in the next few meetings, the outcome was dovish nonetheless,” JPMorgan economist Michael Feroli said in a note. “The Fed kept interest rates steady and the accompanying interest rate forecast ‘dots’ indicate that rates are likely to remain pinned near zero for at least the next two-and-a-half years.
“Moreover, there was unusual unanimity in this expectation as only two participants expect any rate hikes by that time,” he added. “While the dots are individual forecasts, and not a Committee statement, the unusual lack of dispersion in those dots means it should be easier for the Committee to agree to more forceful forward guidance at upcoming meetings.”
AAPL), Amazon (AMZN) and Microsoft (MSFT) each posted record closing highs, and Tesla (TSLA) closed at a record of more than $1,000 per share. Information technology was the only S&P 500 sector to close in positive territory Wednesday.
1.55 million Americans filed unemployment benefits last week. That would bring the total number of new claims filed since the week ended March 20 to more than 44 million.
7:26 a.m. ET Thursday: Stock futures drop after Fed decision
Here were the main moves in markets as of 7:26 a.m. ET:
S&P 500 futures (ES=F): 3,122.5, down 63.5 points or 1.99%
Dow futures (YM=F): 26,333.00, down 628 points, or 2.33%
Nasdaq futures (NQ=F): 9,931.5, down 155.75 points, or 1.54%
Crude (CL=F): -$1.54 (-3.89%) to $38.06 a barrel
Gold (GC=F): +$17.90 (+1.04%) to $1,738.60 per ounce
10-year Treasury (^TNX): -4.8 bps to yield 0.7%
6:05 p.m. ET Wednesday: Stock futures open slightly higher
Here were the main moves at the start of the overnight session for U.S. equity futures, as of 6:05 p.m. ET:
S&P 500 futures (ES=F): 3,186.75, up 0.75 points or 0.02%
Dow futures (YM=F): 26,972.00, up 11 points, or 0.04%
Nasdaq futures (NQ=F): 10,099.75, up 12.5 points, or 0.12%
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