Volatility In Markets Eases Following Speech From Fed Chair Powell

BY Benzinga | ECONOMIC | 12/01/22 05:39 AM EST

US stocks closed sharply higher on Wednesday after Fed Chair Jerome Powell said that the Fed could slow the pace of rate hikes as soon as the December FOMC meeting but that there is a long way to go in bringing inflation down.

Futures traders now see a 75% chance that the US Federal Reserve will increase interest rates by 50 basis points at its December meeting.

Data released Wednesday showed the US economy expanded by an annualized rate of 2.9% on quarter in the third quarter, compared to an initial estimate of 2.6%. However, private businesses in the US added 127,000 jobs in November, down from market estimates of 200,000.

All the major sectors on the S&P 500 closed on a positive note, with information technology and communication services stocks recording the biggest surge on Wednesday.

For November, the S&P 500 jumped 5.4%, while the Dow gained 5.7%.

The Nasdaq 100 climbed 4.58% to close at 12,030.06 on Wednesday, amid a drop in shares of Apple Inc, Tesla, Inc. (NASDAQ:TSLA) and Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN). The S&P 500 gained 3.09%, while the Dow Jones gained around 737 points to settle at 34,589.77 in the previous session.

The Chicago Board Options Exchange's CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) dropped 4.4% to 20.93 points.

What is CBOE Volatility Index?

The CBOE Volatility Index, popularly known as VIX, is a measure of the equity market's expectation of volatility based on S&P 500 index call and put options.

In general the bond market is volatile, and fixed income securities carry interest rate risk. (As interest rates rise, bond prices usually fall, and vice versa. This effect is usually more pronounced for longer-term securities.) Fixed income securities also carry inflation risk and credit and default risks for both issuers and counterparties. Unlike individual bonds, most bond funds do not have a maturity date, so avoiding losses caused by price volatility by holding them until maturity is not possible.

Lower-quality debt securities generally offer higher yields, but also involve greater risk of default or price changes due to potential changes in the credit quality of the issuer. Any fixed income security sold or redeemed prior to maturity may be subject to loss.

Before investing, consider the funds' investment objectives, risks, charges, and expenses. Contact Fidelity for a prospectus or, if available, a summary prospectus containing this information. Read it carefully.