U.S. markets and stock exchange traded funds pared some of their early-Wednesday losses after the Federal Reserve signaled its intent to maintain its near-zero interest rate policy for the foreseeable future.
On Wednesday, the Invesco QQQ Trust (NASDAQ: QQQ) fell 0.4%, SPDR Dow Jones Industrial Average ETF (NYSEArca: DIA) was up 0.3%, and iShares Core S&P 500 ETF (NYSEArca: IVV) dipped 0.1%.
In a statement following its two-day policy meeting, the Federal Reserve outlined a rapid acceleration in U.S. economic growth and inflation this year with the negative effects of the COVID-19 pandemic dissipating, and repeated its pledge to hold target interest rates near zero for years to come, Reuters reports.
“Markets across the board are expensive today, and that is pinned on central bank support,” Hugh Gimber, a strategist at J.P. Morgan Asset Management, told the Wall Street Journal. “So this whole market is very, very sensitive to changes in central bank policy.”
The $1.9 trillion stimulus package and the ongoing rollout of coronavirus vaccines have fueled expectations of a broad economic recovery and an equity market rotation into value stocks that could outperform as the economy rebounds from the coronavirus pandemic shutdowns.
“The resurgence of value investing has been the big story of the year,” Mace McCain, chief investment officer at Frost Investment Advisors, told the WSJ, noting that the rollout of coronavirus vaccines should help the economic recovery. “We expect tremendous growth this next year.”
However, the aggressive stimulus measures and projections of a return to growth have added to fears of a potentially overheating economy that would lead to higher inflation rates and a sooner-than-expected interest rate hike, which have made technology and other growth stocks less attractive.
“Tech is the funding source for reallocation,” Jamie Cox, managing partner for Harris Financial Group, told the WSJ. “You’re restoring the allocations that you had pre-pandemic.”
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