Stock Market Today: Stocks Climb After Fed Forecasts Three Rate Cuts This Year

The main indexes notched new record closes Wednesday after the Federal Reserve kept its outlook for rate cuts unchanged.

blue stock market chart with teal bars going up
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Stocks were little changed in the lead-up to Wednesday afternoon's policy statement from the Federal Reserve. But the main indexes took a decisive turn higher after the central bank reiterated its forecast for three rate cuts this year.   

Most of Wall Street expected the Fed to keep interest rates unchanged this time around and it did just that. The burning questions for investors and economists, however, were how many rate cuts the central bank expects for this year – and when those cuts will begin, particularly after a recent batch of hotter-than-expected inflation data. 

The first question was answered with the release of the Fed's updated "dot plot," which summarizes what each member expects monetary policy to be going forward. The forecast was unchanged from December, with most officials expecting the federal funds rate to be at 4.5% to 4.75%, down from the current range of 5.25% to 5.5%.

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As for the second question, Fed Chair Jerome Powell left it unanswered in his subsequent press conference. Specifically, Powell reiterated that the central bank will stay data-dependent on its approach to potential rate cuts and will take things meeting by meeting.  

According to CME Group's FedWatch Tool, futures traders are pricing in a 67% chance that the first rate cut will come in June, up from 56% one day ago.

Chipotle gains on 50-for-1 stock split news

In single-stock news, Chipotle Mexican Grill (CMG) gained 3.4% after the burrito chain said its board of directors approved a 50-for-1 stock split. Pending shareholder approval, the split will go into effect after the market closes on Tuesday, June 25, and CMG stock will start trading on a post-split basis on Wednesday, June 26.

Chipotle stock has been a long-term outperformer and is up nearly 80% in the past 12 months. "CMG has been among the best-performing restaurant stocks and we expect fundamental strength to continue to drive outperformance," says Deutsche Bank analyst Lauren Silberman (Buy)

Silberman believes "a premium multiple is warranted, noting there is scarcity value for a high-quality U.S. company with a clean balance sheet, strong fundamentals and potential upside to numbers."

AI stock Astera Labs sizzles in its market debut

Elsewhere, Astera Labs (ALAB) soared on its first day of trading. Last night, the cloud and artificial intelligence (AI) infrastructure company priced its initial public offering (IPO) at $36 per share and the stock opened today at $52.56. Shares hit an intraday high of $63.50 before closing at $62.03, a sizzling 72% jump above their IPO price.

The AI stock's strong start bodes well for the Reddit IPO, which will be priced later this evening. The social media stock is expected to start trading tomorrow on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol RDDT.

As for the main indexes, all three settled at a new record closes. The Nasdaq Composite rose 1.3% to 16,369, the S&P 500 gained 0.9% to 5,224, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average added 1.0% to 39,512.

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Karee Venema
Senior Investing Editor,

With over a decade of experience writing about the stock market, Karee Venema is the senior investing editor at 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.