Market Watch: Fed Holds Steady-Lowers Expectations


The big news of the day: The Federal Reserve decided to maintain the status quo on interest rates.  Following its 2 day, closed door policy meeting, Fed Chair Janet Yellen announced that the Fed had pulled back on its prediction of 4 rate hikes this year, and instead believes there will be only 2 interest rate increases in 2016. Last December the U.S. central bank projected four rate hikes in 2016. They’ve also cut expectations for economic growth and inflation. The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) now projects just two rate hikes next year.

According to CNBC:

The current interest rate target is 0.25 to 0.5 percent, and Fed officials back in December had expected the upper level to rise to 1.4 percent by year’s end. With the new projections, the FOMC now sees just a 0.9 percent funds rate in 2016 and a 1.9 percent level by the end of 2017, both reflecting cuts of half a percentage point.

Fed Chair Janet Yellen also said that “negative interest rates in U.S. banks was not an active discussion” within the Federal Open Market Committee.  After today’s announcement from the Fed, oil prices rose 5.8 percent and settled up $2.12, to $38.46 a barrel. Watch more below:

Here are the final numbers from Wednesday, 3/16/16 on Wall Street

Dow Jones Industrial Average: 17,325.76 (+74.23/ +0.43 %)

NASDAQ: 4,763.97  (+35.30 / +0.75 %)

S&P 500: 2,027.22  (+11.29/ +0.56 %)