Market News

Stock Market News Today: Bulls Take Over after Banks Aid FRC

Last Updated 4:00 PM EST

Stock indices finished today’s trading session in the green. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA), the S&P 500 (SPX), and the Nasdaq 100 (NDX) gained 1.17%, 1.76%, and 2.69%, respectively.

The rally appears to have been sparked by easing fears in the banking sector. Indeed, Credit Suisse (CS) and First Republic (FRC) appear to be receiving the help they need in order to stabilize their share prices.

Furthermore, the U.S. 10-Year Treasury yield increased to 3.58%, an increase of more than 12 basis points. Similarly, the Two-Year Treasury yield also increased, as it hovers around 4.17%.

In addition, the Atlanta Federal Reserve updated its latest GDPNow reading, which allows it to estimate GDP growth in real time. The “nowcast” becomes more accurate as more economic data is released throughout the quarter. Currently, it estimates that the economy will expand by about 3.2% in the first quarter.

This is unchanged from yesterday’s estimate, which can be attributed to this morning’s releases from the U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Nevertheless, inflation continues to be a problem around the world. Therefore, it’ll be interesting to see what the actual GDP growth will be and how it’ll change going forward as higher rates start to impact the economy.

Last updated: 1:09PM EST

Equity markets are in the green so far into today’s trading session. As of 1:09 p.m. EST, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA), the S&P 500 (SPX), and the Nasdaq 100 (NDX) are up 1.1%, 1.7%, and 2.3%, respectively.

The Census Bureau released its U.S. Housing Starts report today, which measures the change in new residential buildings that began construction in the reported month on an annualized basis.

In February, housing starts came in at 1.450 million versus expectations of 1.310 million. In addition, on a month-over-month basis, housing starts jumped by 9.8%. This follows a -2% drop in last month’s report.

Furthermore, U.S. Building Permits beat expectations, with a print of 1.524 million compared to the forecast of 1.340 million. This was an increase from the prior month’s report, which came in at 1.339 million, equating to an increase of 13.8% month-over-month.

Last updated: 11:00AM EST

Stocks cut their earlier losses and turn positive on the day. As of 11:00 a.m. EST, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA), the S&P 500 (SPX), and the Nasdaq 100 (NDX) are up 0.2%, 0.6%, and 1.1%, respectively.

Last updated: 9:52AM EST

Stocks opened in the red on Thursday after the European Central Bank (ECB) hiked its interest rates by 50 basis points and stated that this would raise its key interest rate to 3% – its highest level since 2008.

Meanwhile, the U.S. jobless claims data indicated that unemployment claims fell to 192,000, closer to historic lows suggesting that even as the U.S. economy is stressed, layoffs are quite low.

In the week ending March 11, the 4-week moving average was 196,500, a decline of 750 from the previous week’s revised average.

The S&P 500 (SPX) and the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) were down by 0.4% and 0.7%, respectively. The Nasdaq 100 (NDX) retracted by 0.3% at 9:52 a.m. EST, March 16.

First published: 6:33AM EST

U.S. futures are highly volatile on Thursday morning, as updates on the embattled bank, Credit Suisse Group AG (DE:CSX) (NYSE:CS) keep doing the rounds. Switzerland’s second-largest bank, Credit Suisse, is borrowing up to $54 billion from the Swiss National Bank to maintain its short-term liquidity.

Futures opened lower this morning and are mixed currently, with those on the S&P 500 (SPX) and the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) down 0.15% and 0.21%, respectively. While futures on the Nasdaq 100 (NDX) are up 0.22% at 5:15 a.m. EST, March 16.

The banking sector is off to a rough ride, following the closures of Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank, last week. Caught in the rout currently, is San Francisco-based First Republic Bank (NYSE:FRC), which is mulling a sale after fears of deposit flight led S&P Global to downgrade the bank to junk status. Various rating agencies have also put a few other banks on alert for potential downgrades. These include Comerica (NYSE:CMA), UMB Financial (NASDAQ:UMBF), Zions Bancorporation (NASDAQ:ZION), and Western Alliance Bancorporation (NYSE:WAL).  

The Federal Reserve has a tough task ahead, to keep inflation in check by increasing interest rates while ensuring the ripple effects do not start serious problems in the economy. Thankfully, the consumer price index (CPI) numbers came in as expected, but the current inflation figure of 6% is far from the targeted 2% rate. Moreover, the producers’ price index (PPI) number also came in lower-than-expected, declining month-over-month by 0.1% in February.

Other important economic data sets expected today are the initial jobless claims report for the past week and housing starts. Traders are anxiously awaiting the next rate hike decision to be released at the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting on March 22.

Meanwhile, European indices are heavily in the green, following the Swiss National Bank’s decision to lend support to Credit Suisse. The rally in European banking stocks was led by a nearly 30% spike in Credit Suisse stock in early trading. European markets also await the central bank’s decision on the interest rate to be announced today, with an expectation of a 50 basis point hike.

Asia-Pacific Markets Finish in the Red

Asia-Pacific markets witnessed a sell-off owing to banking sector woes, with a majority of indices closing in the red on Thursday. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng, China’s Shanghai Composite, and Shenzhen Component indices ended the day down 1.72%, 1.12%, and 1.38%, respectively.

Similarly, Japan’s Nikkei and Topix indices ended the day down 0.80% and 1.17%, respectively, on fears of a global economic meltdown.

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