Stock Market Today: Stocks Fall Again as Fed Hangover Persists

The major market indexes notched a fourth straight loss as Powell's rate-hike warning kept investor sentiment in check.

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(Image credit: Getty Images)

Stocks closed lower for a fourth straight day Thursday as Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell's warning from Wednesday's press conference continued to ring in investors' ears. 

Specifically, after the Fed raised rates another 75 basis points, Powell said it was "very premature" to expect the central bank to start talking about pausing its rate-hike strategy, especially as inflation remains stubbornly high. (A basis point = 0.01%.)

Expectations for more rate increases from the Fed sent the 10-year Treasury yield soaring 9.0 basis points to 4.151%. As a result, stocks in the rate-sensitive technology sector (-2.9%) bore the brunt of today's selling, with the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite sinking 1.7% to 10,342. The broader S&P 500 Index gave back 1.1% to 3,719, while the blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.5% to 32,001.

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Also in focus today was the latest weekly jobless claims data, which comes ahead of tomorrow's highly anticipated October jobs report. While initial claims edged down 1,000 to a seasonally adjusted 217,000, continuing claims were up nearly 29,000 to 1.25 million. 

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"It appears that we are finally starting to see more signs of labor market weakness, which means we might be a couple months away from seeing job losses with the nonfarm payroll report," says Edward Moya, senior market strategist at currency data provider OANDA. "If the labor market can cool quickly, the Fed might be done tightening in February." 

One Place to Find Cheap Stocks

But for now, the Fed – and its global peers – are continuing their fight against stubbornly high inflation. Earlier today, the Bank of England (BoE) increased its own benchmark interest rate by 75 basis points – the largest such move in over three decades. The BoE also suggested a "very challenging" path forward for the U.K. economy as Britain's central bank aims to curb inflation. 

The reaction in the markets was a lower pound and spiking yields on U.K. sovereign debt. "It's proved to be yet another dismal day for the pound as forecasts of a long recession cast a dark shadow over the U.K. economy," says Susannah Streeter, senior investment and markets analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown. As for U.K. stocks, they showed resilience in the wake of the BoE decision, with London's FTSE ending the day up 0.6%. 

Over the long term, though, the FTSE has significantly underperformed the S&P 500 – and is currently trading at its lowest valuation in more than a decade. Despite these long-term troubles, there are still plenty of quality names that can be found on the other side of the Atlantic. Here, we take a closer look at where some of the best bargains are among cheap U.K. stocks. Check them out.

Karee Venema
Contributing Editor, Kiplinger.com

With over a decade of experience writing about the stock market, Karee Venema is an investing editor and options expert at Kiplinger.com. She joined the publication in April 2021 after 10 years of working as an investing writer and columnist at Schaeffer's Investment Research. In her previous role, Karee focused primarily on options trading, as well as technical, fundamental and sentiment analysis.