By Peter Nurse
Investing.com — U.S. stocks opened lower on Wednesday as investors continue to digest recent moves by the Federal Reserve ahead of President Joe Biden’s trip to Europe to discuss new sanctions against Russia.
As of 9:40 a.m. ET, the was down 249 points, or 0.7%, while the was down 0.7% and the was down 0.9%.
All three major Wall Street indices closed higher on Tuesday, with the Dow Jones climbing more than 250 points, or 0.7%, the S&P 1.1% and the Nasdaq 2%.
The Federal Reserve raised the benchmark benchmark rate by a quarter point at its meeting last week, the first increase since December 2018, and Chairman Jerome Powell on Monday underlined more aggressive steps going forward to fight against soaring inflation.
San Francisco Federal Reserve Chair Mary Daly, normally seen as leaning toward the dovish end of the spectrum, added her voice Tuesday to those calling on the Fed to raise interest rates quickly.
The ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine and associated sanctions have exacerbated already high energy and commodity prices, adding to US central bank concerns about domestic inflation.
The president travels to Europe on Wednesday to meet with allies from the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and the European Union to discuss the West’s response to Russia, amid expectations that new measures to punish Moscow are likely.
The war in Ukraine continued to rage on Wednesday, with Russian troops continuing to shell kyiv’s capital, Chernihiv, and the Black Sea port of Mariupol.
Back in the US, the economic data slate is centered on the February data release, at 10 a.m. ET.
In the corporate sector, Adobe (NASDAQ:) stock slipped pre-market, the software giant beat its first-quarter targets but was disappointed with its guidance, while BuzzFeed (NASDAQ:) stock continued to rise after announcing job cuts and the departure of top publishers.
Chinese social media and gaming giant Tencent Holdings (OTC:) posted an 8% increase in revenue in the fourth quarter, its slowest growth since its IPO in 2004. General Mills (NYSE:) and Cintas (NASDAQ:) also report results on Wednesday.
Oil prices rose slightly on Wednesday after industry data indicated a further drop in inventories, as European countries continue to debate sanctions on Russian energy exports.
Tuesday’s figures for crude inventories posted in the United States, the world’s biggest oil consumer, fell 4.3 million barrels last week, bewildering expectations of a slight increase.
Official US government data is expected later in the session.
As of 9:46 a.m. ET, U.S. crude futures were trading up 4.6% at $114.27 a barrel, while the contract was up 4.6% at $120.92.
Additionally, rose 0.6% to $1,933/oz.
This story was originally published at 7:09 a.m. ET and updated.