Investors were also watching the likelihood of a Fed rate hike in March in response to comments from a number of officials suggesting another quarter-point interest rate increase in the next meeting. The rising interest rates reflects a stronger economy that can handle the bumps from the Fed as a way to keep growth in check.
“The specter of higher rates means the economy is doing better,” Andre Bakhos, managing director at Janlyn Capital, told Reuters.
New York Fed President William Dudley argued that raising rates “has become a lot more compelling” in light of the economy’s current and expected performance. San Francisco Fed President John Williams also remarked that a rate change in the March meeting was “very much on the table for serious consideration.”
However, some are worried about valuations, with the S&P 500 trading at an average of roughly 22 times their last 12 months of earnings, compared to their 10-year average of around 16.
“I’m usually pretty bullish, but I’m worried there’s too many people who have joined the party,” Tom Digenan, head of U.S. equities at UBS Global Asset Management, told the WSJ.
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