Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell held a more hawkish press conference on Wednesday, with the central bank hiking interest rates by 0.25%, marking the second rate hike this year. He also signaled two more rate hikes yet to come in 2018.
The Fed's decision sent the benchmark 10-year Treasury yield to 3% briefly at about 2:40 p.m. ET on Wednesday. The 10-year note last yielded 3% in late May.
The Fed raised its estimates for the pace of growth and inflation in the U.S. economy while simultaneously lowering unemployment estimates. Inflation serves as the primary threat to bonds, as the fixed nature of a Treasury note is jeopardized by diminished dollar purchasing power.
While yields, which rise as bond prices fall, surged briefly Wednesday afternoon, they came off highs on Thursday. The 10-year note yielded 2.946% Thursday morning, erasing Wednesday's teeter into 3% territory.
The Fed's rate hike also hit homebuilder stocks, as the price of borrowing to build a home or buy a mortgage looked poised to increase incrementally. In trading on Wednesday, KB Home (KBH) tumbled 7.31%, D.R. Horton Inc. (DHI) fell 4.19%, Toll Brothers Inc. (TOL) handed over 4.32% and Lennar Corp. (LEN) dipped 4.01%. The stocks remained lower on Thursday.
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