As we expected, Fed Chair Jerome Powell pushed back on market expectations of a federal funds rate cut in March and more to come over the rest of the year. He was less dovish than the market expected. If he had been more dovish, he would have risked inflating a speculative asset bubble. Instead, stocks took a dive today in response to his press conference (chart). Stock prices were already on the ropes this morning as investors sold Alphabet and Microsoft following their earnings calls. Some of that was selling on the news to take some profits.
In addition, regional bank stocks were hit by news that New York Community Bancorp, which purchased some assets of the failed Signature Bank last year, now is experiencing some trouble of its own (chart). The N.Y.-based lender stock price plunged after it reported a surprise net loss of $252 million for the fourth quarter and announced it slashed its dividend.