The Dow fell as much as 450 points Wednesday afternoon after Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said that the quarter-point rate cut that the Fed had approved earlier in the day was a one-off.
“We are thinking of it as a mid-cycle adjustment to policy,” Powell said during a press conference Wednesday. “I’m contrasting it with the beginning of a lengthy cutting cycle.”
The market had initially interpreted the Fed’s statement about the rate cut, its first since 2008, to mean more cuts were coming, but dropped after Powell threw cold water on that.
“The market is concerned this might be one rate cut and done, as opposed to an extended cycle,” Keith Lerner, chief market strategist at SunTrust, told CNN Business. “It’s a bit of a knee- jerk reaction. We’ve had a big run-up. The market is not getting exactly what it wanted.”
The Dow regained about 200 points after Powell clarified that he meant the Fed could cut rates again soon, but the cycle of cuts wouldn’t last for a long period of time.
“What I said was it’s not the beginning of a long series of rate cuts,” Powell said. “We’ll be taking a somewhat more accommodative stance over time.”