Stocks decline on anticipated Fed rate hikes

Trader Timothy Nick works with colleagues in a Trader Timothy Nick works with colleagues in a booth on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on Monday, March 17, 2014. Most analysts expect the Fed to continue to reduce its monetary stimulus at the speed it has already set, trimming its monthly bond purchases by $10 billion. It is also expected to revise its economic forecasts. Photo Credit: AP / Richard Drew

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Higher interest rates are coming. And they are coming sooner than you think.

That's the message investors took away from the Federal Reserve Wednesday. In response, they sent stocks and gold prices lower and bond yields sharply higher.

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The Dow Jones industrial average fell 114.02 points to 16,222.17. The Dow fell as much as 209 points before erasing some of its loss. The Standard & Poor's 500 index dropped 0.61 percent, to 1,860.77, and the Nasdaq Composite lost 0.59 percent to close at 4,307.60.

Financial stocks did better than the rest of the market. Citigroup rose 80 cents, to $48.94, and Bank of America rose 25 cents to $17.44. Banks, in particular big commercial lenders like Citi, benefit from higher interest rates because they can charge more for loans and credit card balances.

The yield of the 10-year U.S. Treasury note, a benchmark for many kinds of loans including mortgages, rose to 2.77 percent from 2.67 percent Tuesday, a large move.The U.S. dollar had its biggest one-day gain since August 2013, and gold had its worst day since December. In after-hours trading, gold was down $28.20, or 2 percent, to $1,330.80 an ounce. -- AP

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