(CNBC) — Stocks eased off session lows but still finished firmly in the red Wednesday after Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen suggested interest rate hikes would happen about six months after quantitative easing ends.
"The market is terrified of rising interest rates and any hint of them coming sooner than they think pushes it down the way it did," according to Dan Stecich Senior VP of economic research at Athena Advisor Services. "Ultimately, it should be a good thing for the markets as it means economy's doing well."
In its policy statement, the Fed said the benchmark federal-funds rate will remain near zero for a "considerable time" after its asset-purchase program ends. Yellen attempted to clarify the term, saying its is "hard to define" but "probably means something on the order of around six months."
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