Wall Street sinks as Powell's speech spooks investors

STORY: The Dow shed more than 1,000 points as Wall Street ended sharply lower on Friday after Federal Reserve Chief Jerome Powell spoke in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, where he signaled the central bank would keep raising interest rates and wouldn’t stop until inflation was under control.

“We must keep at it until the job is done.”

The Dow lost 3%. The S&P 500 fell three and a third percent, while the Nasdaq dropped nearly 4%.

Tim Pagliara, chief investment officer at CapWealth, said Powell’s remarks dashed hopes the Fed might ease up on its aggressive approach to interest rate hikes in the near term.

“Chairman Powell essentially canceled Christmas. He told everybody, we’re going to have to pay for the inflation that’s in the system and that it’s going to be painful. He gave a very short, succinct message. His prior messages said that he couldn’t control supply and supply is what problems are dealing with inflation? And so now he is going to have to do the hard work of, you know, the demand destruction. And that demand destruction will affect any everyone through much, much higher interest rates.”

High-growth tech stocks led the declines after rallying the previous day in anticipation of Powell’s speech at the annual Jackson Hole central banking conference.

Shares of Dell Technologies fell as it joined rivals in predicting a slowdown as inflation and the darkening economic outlook prompt consumers and businesses to tighten their purse strings.

Affirm Holdings tumbled after the buy-now-pay-later lender forecast full-year revenue below Wall Street estimates, underscoring the broader downturn in the fortunes of the once high-flying fintech sector.

Leave a Comment