Stock market cuts loss as Fed's Powell says central bank 'not ready to declare victory' on inflation

The stock market cut some of its modest losses Wednesday afternoon as the Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, adopted a measured tone in explaining the central bank's second interest-rate increase of 2018 during a news conference.. Powell said that the Fed doesn't "want to declare victory" on inflation, which has begun to normalize toward policy makers' 2% annual target after stubbornly holding lower for a protracted period and even as employment levels hit historic lows. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was off 41 points, or 0.2%, at 25,282, the S&P 500 index declined by 6 points, or 0.2%, at 2,781, while the Nasdaq Composite Index was trading about 0.1% lower at 7,698. The policy-setting Federal Open Market Committee lifted interest rates by a quarter of percentage point to a range of 1.75% to 2% and a projection of Fed members' expectations for interest rates in the future were seen shifting to four from three for 2018, meaning a further two hikes could be expected this year.