US STOCKS-Wall St slides after Powell backs aggressive rate hike views

Wall Street’s three main indexes fell on Thursday after Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said a 50-basis point interest rate hike was “on the table”, cementing expectations of aggressive policy tightening by the U.S. central bank.

With inflation running roughly three times the Fed’s 2% target, “it is appropriate to be moving a little more quickly,” Powell said in a discussion of the global economy at the meetings of the International Monetary Fund. “50 basis points will be on the table for the May meeting.”

High-growth stocks including those of Alphabet Inc and Inc fell close to 2% each after yields on two-year bonds, the most sensitive to interest changes, hit their highest in three years.

“The market is starting to reprice risk and the way you’re seeing that is obviously higher value stocks are getting hit the hardest,” said Dennis Dick, a professional stock trader at Bright Trading LLC in Las Vegas.

All the three major indexes opened higher, boosted by strong results from heavyweight Tesla and airline operators, but gave up gains by afternoon trading.At 1:55 p.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 54.61 points, or 0.16%, at 35,106.18, the S&P 500 was down 24.74 points, or 0.55%, at 4,434.71, and the Nasdaq Composite was down 127.42 points, or 0.95%, at 13,325.65.