U.S. stocks endured another stomach-churning session Thursday, falling at the open on concerns about the global economy, then erasing most of those losses on a report that Federal Reserve officials may be rethinking how fast and how much they will raise interest rates in 2019.
The turbulence could be measured in the roller-coaster performance of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, which fell as much as 784 points, or 3.1%, on mounting concerns that the rate of global economic growth has peaked.
The Dow rebounded later in the day after the Wall Street Journal said the Fed is mulling a new “wait-and-see mentality” for setting interest rates next year, which could slow down the pace of future rate increases. Departing from the “predictable path” of higher rates each quarter, the Fed will now study data on the economy and markets before further rates after the one expected later this month.
As the tumultuous trading day ended, the Dow closed down 0.3% at 24,947.67. The S&P 500, meanwhile, declined 0.2% to 2,695.95, while the Nasdaq Composite advanced 0.4% to 7,188.26.
Reversing a trend of the past two months, large-cap technology shares were among the stocks leading the market higher. Amazon rose 1.84%, while Netflix gained 2.7% and Cisco advanced 2.2%. Apple, however, declined 1.1% amid lingering concerns about flagging demand for its iPhones.
Uncertainty about the Fed’s outlook on interest rates remains, however. The next signal may come from a speech that Fed Chairman Jerome Powell will give in Washington at 6:30 p.m. ET Thursday, which could offer more hints on the Fed’s thinking, as well as the Labor Department’s monthly employment report due Friday morning.