President Donald Trump, who has claimed much of the credit for the strong economy, has criticized the Fed's pace of raising interest rates, saying going too fast could slow growth and job creation. "No, I think the Fed is making a mistake".
"Actually it's a correction that we've been waiting for for a long time, but I really disagree with what the Fed is doing", Trump told reporters before a political rally in Pennsylvania. "But I think the Fed has gone insane", he went on. The S&P 500 was down 1.9 percent, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq saw losses of 2.3 percent.
Despite Wednesday's sell-off, the S&P 500 would still need to more than double its losses.
She said in addition to rising interest rates, investors also fear that company profit margins will be squeezed by rising costs, including the price of oil.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement following the close of markets that the US economy is "incredibly strong" despite the selloff, which analysts attributed in part to trade tensions with China.
As Hurricane Michael pummeled Florida, Wall Street was battered by storms as well, with the Dow shedding about 830 points, in the biggest fall since February, to close the day at 25,498.74. "It's all about investors rethinking their exposure to stocks".
'Monstrous' Hurricane Michael forecast to hit Gulf Coast as a major hurricane
ET Monday, Tropical Storm Michael was centered about 90 miles east of Cozumel, Mexico, the National Hurricane Center said . Michael is the 13th named storm of the 2018 hurricane season, according to hurricane center spokesman Dennis Feltgen.
There are a slew of worries for investors which have been building in recent weeks. Netflix was down more than 8 percent, Amazon was off 6 percent and Apple and Google were both down more than 4.5 percent.
Stocks have been under pressure since the yield on 10-year US Treasury bonds jumped above three percent last week, a sudden move that raised fears of an overheating economy, speeding inflation and more aggressive Federal Reserve interest rate increases.
The markets have been on a historic climb - with the Dow and S&P each notching dozens of new highs since 2016 - buoyed by a strong USA economy and solid corporate earnings.
Ivan Feinseth, Chief Investment Officer at Tigress Financial Partners, said that although the losses caught him off-guard, he thought many investors were unduly frightened by the rising rates.
Earlier on Tuesday, White House economist Kevin Hassett said the administration respects the Fed's independence and pointed to Trump's nominees to the central bank as evidence of its non-partisan approach to the setting of monetary policy. The Dow lost more than 550 points in afternoon trading.