As anticipated, the data-fueled Federal Reserve raised interest rates by another 25 basis points on Wednesday to make it a fourth and final rate hike to end 2018. Many market mavens decried the move, including former hedge fund manager and CNBC’s “Mad Money” host Jim Cramer.
Analysts have been citing rising interest rates as one of the causes for the latest declines in U.S. equities. Of course, the rate hike comes much to U.S. President Donald Trump’s chagrin, but Cramer’s stance on rate hikes mirrors that of the president.
“The president is spot on,” Cramer said. “The Fed is perfectly happy to gradually strangle the economy, the U.S. economy, in order to stamp out inflation, or the potential of inflation. And that’s bad news for corporate earnings.”
The Fed proceeded with their rate-hiking policy despite the latest rumblings in the stock markets. The Dow Jones Industrial Average has lost over 3 percent year-to-date, while the S&P 500 has lost 3.79 percent with further declines on Thursday.
Meanwhile, the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite has lost close to 14 percent within the last three months of what’s been a volatile market. The Dow and S&P were not immune to the market fluctuations with 9.37 percent and 11.57 percent lost, respectively, in the last three months.
Fed Ignores President
Just two days ahead of Wednesday’s announcement, President Trump was already lambasting the Federal Reserve. As has been the norm whenever denigrating the central bank, President Trump took to Twitter to sound off on the economy.