Wall Street stocks fluctuated around unchanged on Wednesday after the Federal Reserve annouced its widely expected interest-rate hike, the biggest rate increase since 2000.

Stocks initially rose then weakened. The Dow and S&P 500 had small gains while the Nasdaq was off slightly.

Trading was choppy ahead of Fed Chair Jerome Powell's news conference at 2:30 p.m. ET. Investors are watching for fresh clues on how far and how fast the central bank is prepared to go in an effort to bring down decades-high inflation.

The Federal Reserve on Wednesday raised its benchmark overnight interest rate by half a percentage point and said it would begin trimming its bond holdings next month as a further step in the battle to lower inflation.

The U.S. central bank set its target federal funds rate to a range between 0.75% and 1% in a unanimous decision, with further rises in borrowing costs of perhaps similar magnitude likely to follow.

Concerns about a hit to economic growth due to a hawkish Fed, mixed earnings from some big growth companies, the conflict in Ukraine and pandemic-related lockdowns in China have hammered Wall Street recently, with richly valued growth stocks bearing the brunt of the sell-off.

At 2:26 p.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 124.57 points, or 0.38%, to 33,253.36, the S&P 500 gained 8.29 points, or 0.20%, to 4,183.77 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 37.20 points, or 0.3%, to 12,526.56.

Lyft Inc shares plummeted by 33.3% amid concerns about the company's ridership and spending. The ride hailing company reported first-quarter revenue of $875 million, a 44% increase over the previous year, while the number of active riders missed analyst expectations.

Nine of the 11 major S&P sectors rose, with energy and utilities leading the gains. [O/R]

Bank stocks were up 0.7% after U.S. Treasury two-year yields, the most sensitive to the Federal Reserve's interest rate outlook, soared to their highest since Nov 2018. The benchmark 10-year yield topped 3% for a third consecutive day. [US/]

Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by a 1.39-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.72-to-1 ratio favored decliners.

The S&P 500 posted two new 52-week highs and 37 new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 24 new highs and 341 new lows.