The stock market looks a lot uglier in the late morning than it did at the open... and we opened in the red!
All three major indexes are sharply lower as Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen are talking about the economy in Washington.
Why are markets so freaked out? It may have been the tapering talk...
The Fed announced an end to its pandemic-era stimulus program earlier this month, meaning that it is decreasing the amount of securities is buys every month. The pace of this so-called "taper" is now the next big topic. And it seemed that Powell indicated this pace could pick up given the health of the recovery and inflationary pressures.
Ouch -- at least for stocks. The stock market likes an accommodative Fed, so any tightening is news the market doesn't like.
Elsewhere, Bitcoin has given up its gains of the morning and is now flat -- compared with a 3% advance not long ago.