Fed jitters deter buyers on Wall Street, Dow Jones drops 261 points

NEW YORK, New York – U.S. stocks closed sharply lower Monday as investors fretted over which way the Federal Reserve will jump when its Open Market Committee meets this week for its monthly two-day meeting.

“You’re seeing this push and pull in stock prices between whether the Fed will keep interest rates where they are throughout the year or whether they’ll pivot to cutting interest rates. That’s what you’re seeing in terms of maybe a little bit more of the intermediate-term rise in stock prices,” Tom Hainlin, senior investment strategist at U.S. Bank, told CNBC Monday.

“We would fade that rally because our perspective is the Fed is going to keep interest rates high for some time,” Hainlin said.

At the close of trading Monday, the Nasdaq Composite was down 227.90 points or 1.96 percent at 11,393.81.

The Standard and Poor’s 500 dropped 52.79 points or 1.30 percent to 4,017.77.

The Dow Jones industrials declined 260.99 points or 0.77 percent to 33,717.09.

Unsurprisingly, the U.S. dollar traded higher Monday. The euro drifted down to 1.0847 by the U.S. close Monday. The British pound softened to 1.2349. The Japanese yen slid to 130.46. The Swiss franc eased to 0.9215.

The Canadian dollar edged down to 1.3385. The Australian dollar weakened to 0.7059. The New Zealand dollar dipped to 0.6469.

On overseas equity markets, the big mover was Hong Kong’s Hang Seng, which shed 619.17 points or 2.73 percent to close Monday at 22,069.73.

The FTSE 100 in London advanced 0.25 percent. The German Dax retreated 0.16 percent. In Paris, France, the CAC 40 lost 0.21 percent.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 rose 0.19 percent. China’s Shanghai Composite edged up 0.14 percent.

In Seoul, South Korea, the Kospi Composite declined 1.35 percent. The Australian All Ordinaries dipped 0.12 percent. The Singapore Straits Times Index dropped 0.47 percebt.

In Indonesia, the Jakarta Composite fell 0.38 percent. New Zealand’s S&P/NZX 50 inched down 0.02 percent.