Markets experienced relief on Wednesday as the Federal Reserve announced a pause to its interest rate hiking agenda. The central bank maintained interest rates in the range of 5% to 5.25%, in line with market expectations.
“Inflation pressures continue to run high,” Fed Chair Jerome Powell stated during a press conference on Wednesday following the June policy meeting. “We are trying to get this right,” Powell continued, explaining that while he supports the pause, the Fed’s mission to bring inflation down to its target still “has a long way to go.”
On the back of the Fed’s announcement, U.S. stocks remained mixed following a day of uncertainty. The S&P 500 remained relatively unchanged, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped by 0.68%. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index edged higher by 0.39%.
Several regional bank stocks tanked on Wednesday, led by PacWest with a 6.5% drop. Western Alliance and Zions followed, falling 5.8% and 5.7% respectively.