U.S. stocks faltered on Tuesday, dragged down by losses in tech, as investors weighed remarks by Federal Reserve Governor Lael Brainard that indicated policymakers were ready to act more aggressively to rein in inflation. Investors also monitored reports indicating the U.S. and European Union are expected to unveil more sanctions against Russia on Wednesday.
The S&P 500 tumbled 1.3%, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 280 points after climbing for two straight trading sessions. The Nasdaq Composite plunged 2.3% to log its biggest drop in three weeks and erase gains from a tech rally that helped the index pop on Monday. Meanwhile, the 10-year U.S. Treasury yield jumped to 2.56%, its highest level since May 2019.
Brainard, who is awaiting a confirmation vote to serve in the central bank’s number two role, said at a conference on Tuesday that the Fed can raise interest rates more aggressively to dampen the high rate of inflation felt by Americans, also noting that officials will likely start shrinking asset holdings in a about a month (a move that could have the effect of further raising long-term interest rates).
“Currently, inflation is much too high and is subject to upside risks,” Brainard said. “The Committee is prepared to take stronger action if indicators of inflation and inflation expectations indicate that such action is warranted.”
Investors continued to monitor the war in Eastern Europe and weighed reports that the EU is expected to impose another round of sanctions against Russia. In a speech to the United Nations Security Council on Tuesday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy accused Russian troops of committing “the most terrible war crimes” since World War II.
The United States and Western allies are expected to announce more Russia-related sanctions on Wednesday, Reuters reported, citing a source familiar with the matter.
“Tomorrow, the U.S. will announce, in coordination with the G7 and EU, an additional sweeping package of sanctions measures that will impose significant costs on Russia and send it further down the road of…