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Markets continue pullback amid U.S. recession fears

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Equity markets declined for the third straight day Thursday, in the wake of the U.S. Federal Reserve’s most recent increase to the benchmark interest rate. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | <a href="/News_Photos/lp/fff9abae81f8dcf968c08a791278b1d2/" target="_blank">License Photo</a>
Equity markets declined for the third straight day Thursday, in the wake of the U.S. Federal Reserve’s most recent increase to the benchmark interest rate. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

Sept. 22 (UPI) -- Equity markets declined for the third straight day on Thursday, in the wake of the U.S. Federal Reserve's most recent increase to the benchmark interest rate.

The S&P 500 fell 31.94 points, or 0.84%, to 3,757.99, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average declined by 107.1 points, or 0.35%, to 30,076.68. The Nasdaq Composite dropped 153.39 points, or 1.37%, to 11,066.80.

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All three indexes are on pace to end the week in the red, as investors worry continued rate hikes meant to combat high inflation, could result in a recession.

The Fed hiked the benchmark rate 0.75% for the third consecutive time on Wednesday, sending markets into a steep decline.

"The Fed's paved the way for much of the world to continue with aggressive rate hikes, and that's going to lead to a global recession, and how severe it is will be determined on how long it takes inflation to come down," Oanda senior market analyst Ed Moya told CNBC in an interview Thursday.

Bond yields were up again Thursday, with 2-year Treasury notes hitting their highest level since October 2007.

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Pharmaceuticals and consumer staples managed to buck the trend and end the day in the green. Boston-based Vertex Pharmaceuticals was one of the S&P 500's top net gainers, while biotech firm Amgen was one of the Nasdaq's best performers on Thursday, and Johnson & Johnson finished near the top of the Dow Jones.

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Consumer discretionary spending was one of the worst-performing sectors on the S&P 500. Booking Holdings, down 4.77%, was the biggest net decliner -- the travel company's second-straight day of significant losses.

Chipotle Mexican Grill, down -4.61%, was among the hardest hit companies in that sector.

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