U.S. stocks lost some ground and were trading lower on Wednesday after the Federal Reserve raised interest rates as expected and projected a slightly faster pace of rate hikes in the coming months.
Two additional hikes are now expected by the end of this year, compared to one previously.
In its decision Wednesday, the Fed raised its benchmark overnight lending rate a quarter of a percentage point to a range of between 1.75 percent and 2 percent.
“The fact they’re talking about four rate hikes this year instead of three is disappointing. Everybody knew they were going to hike in June. People thought they might pause in September. It doesn’t look like they’re going to do that,” said Stephen Massocca, senior vice president at Wedbush Securities in San Francisco.
One worry about higher rates is that they will weigh on economic growth, he said.
At 2:30 p.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 58.17 points, or 0.23 percent, to 25,262.56, the S&P 500 lost 6.8 points, or 0.24 percent, to 2,780.05 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 6.28 points, or 0.08 percent, to 7,697.51.
S&P 500 financials, which tend to benefit from higher rates, were up 0.7 percent.
A ruling that approved AT&T’s $85 billion deal to buy Time Warner put the spotlight on media and telecom shares, which mostly rose.
Shares of HBO channel owner Time Warner rose 2.6 percent. AT&T dropped 5.5 percent, sending the S&P telecom services index down 3.9 percent.
Twenty-First Century Fox surged 6.9 percent as Comcast Corp is expected to outbid Walt Disney for some of its assets.
Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by a 1.91-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.21-to-1 ratio favored decliners.
The S&P 500 posted 40 new 52-week highs and 2 new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 151 new highs and 24 new lows.