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Dow plunges 1,000 points as Fed Chair Powell warns rate hikes to fight inflation will cause hardship

Markets Insider logo Markets Insider 8/26/2022 prosen@insider.com (Phil Rosen)
A trader at the New York Stock Exchanges watches Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell on television on July 27, 2022. AP Photo/Seth Wenig © AP Photo/Seth Wenig A trader at the New York Stock Exchanges watches Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell on television on July 27, 2022. AP Photo/Seth Wenig
  • US stocks dropped Friday as major indexes closed the week negative, with the Dow tumbling 1,000 points.
  • At Jackson Hole, Wyoming, Fed Chair Jerome Powell reiterated the Fed's committement to taming inflation. 
  • He also warned that rate increases will "bring some pain to households and businesses," adding that such hardship is the cost of reducing inflation.

US stocks plunged to end the week lower as investors digested hawkish comments from Fed Chair Jerome Powell in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

He signaled that the central bank will continue to raise interest rates and keep them at higher levels until inflation is tamed, dashing hopes they will start coming down soon. Powell also warned that rate increases will "bring some pain to households and businesses," adding that such hardship is the cost of reducing inflation.

"But a failure to restore price stability would mean far greater pain," he said.

To Cliff Hodge, chief investment officer for Cornerstone Wealth, the hawkish message drastically reduces the chance of a soft landing and heightens the odds of a recession in 2023. 

"Key message: expect more volatility and tougher conditions for equities," he said. "Good news in the economy is going to be bad news for stocks and vice versa. The Fed is going to remain aggressive at the expense of growth, and has a high bar to back off."

Here's where US indexes stood as the market closed 4:00 p.m. on Friday: 

Following Powell's comments, investors began betting on a lower probability of a 75-basis-point rate hike in September, according to the CME FedWatch tool. The odds slipped from 64% Thursday to 54.5% after the speech.

Meanwhile, Russia's gas storage is 90% full for the winter, while Europe is still scrambling to secure its supply before the cold months arrive. Households in the UK are set to pay 178% more for heat this winter compared to a year ago.  

Amid the worsening energy crisis, the US and India have made progress on a plan to cap the price of Russian oil, a Treasury official said Friday.

The SEC announced an agreement to allow American inspectors to audit Chinese firms, potentially avoiding the delisting of hundreds of Chinese stocks from US exchanges. 

Another little-known Chinese stock skyrocketed 3,100% in its debut in US markets, following a trend of Chinese names soaring on IPOs. 

Oil prices climbed, with West Texas Intermediate up 0.41% to $92.90 a barrel. Brent crude, the international benchmark, inched higher 1.37% to $100.70 a barrel.

Gold edged 1.25% lower to $1,749.30 per ounce. The 10-year yield ticked 1.5 basis points higher to 3.039%.

Bitcoin dropped 4.46% to $20,640.89.

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