The S&P 500 notched a third consecutive session of declines Thursday, kept under pressure by sliding shares of materials and financial companies.

Markets opened little changed and then drifted between small gains and losses throughout much of the session. While advances in technology shares helped the Nasdaq Composite end higher, both the S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average finished with losses.

Investors’ risk appetite had faded midweek after Federal Reserve officials gave the clearest signals yet that they plan to gradually pull back the monetary policies that helped propel markets to record highs. Their median projection showed they see lifting their benchmark rate by the end of 2023, sooner than previously forecast.

“The key message is that we will not stay here forever,” said Florent Pochon, head of cross-asset strategies at Natixis . “The Fed really wanted to take the…

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