Bank stocks jump, then quickly pull back after Fed rate hike


Financial stocks spiked up, then pulled back after the Federal Reserve raised its target on overnight rates by 0.75 percentage points on Wednesday. Although the 75-basis-point hike was expected, it was still historic, as it was the biggest increase in nearly three decades, and was the Fed’s way of saying it will act aggressively to fight inflation. The SPDR Financial Select Sector ETF XLF, +1.12% rose as much as 1.6% moments after the hike, but was last up just 0.6%; it was up 1.15% just before the rate hike announcement. Among its more-active components, shares of Bank of America Corp. BAC, +1.88% rallied 1.3%, Wells Fargo & Co. WFC, +1.98% gained 1.1%, Citigroup Inc. C, +3.52% tacked on 2.9% and J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. JPM, +1.18% gained 0.6%. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note TMUBMUSD10Y, 3.326% fell 4.2 basis points to 3.448%, amid growing fears that an aggressive Fed could tip the economy into recession. Higher long-term rates tend to help bank profits, as that increases the spread they earn on longer-term assets, like loans, that are funded by shorter-term liabilities.

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