Stocks are dropping after the Federal Reserve cuts its benchmark interest rate for a second time this year and didn't provide investors with concrete clues about what the future holds.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average went from a loss of 58 points just before the cut was announced to a loss of 200 points at 2:47 p.m.
The market expected the quarter-point cut to the federal funds rate, which influences many consumer and business loans. But three of the 10 voting officials dissented from the decision, and the Fed looks divided on what to do next. That ambiguity may have displeased investors on Wall Street.
The S&P 500 was down 0.9% to 2,979. Even with the decline, the benchmark index remains within 1.6% of its all-time high set in July.
In a statement after a two-day meeting, the central bank also signaled the strong possibility of another rate cut later this year, citing “uncertainties” about its outlook and vowing to “act as appropriate to sustain the expansion.”
But policymakers are split, with seven saying rates should fall further by year-end, five saying they should be unchanged and five who appear to oppose both recent cuts and prefer slightly higher rates by December.
Contributing: USA TODAY's Paul Davidson