Financial Stocks Jump as Bank Fears Subside

Dow rises 323 points
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 29, 2023 3:47 PM CDT
Stocks Rally as Bank Fears Subside
The opening bell is seen on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange in New York, Tuesday, March 28, 2023.   (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Stocks rallied Wednesday as Wall Street shook off more of the fear that dominated it earlier this month. The S&P 500 rose 56.54 points, or 1.4%, to 4,027.81. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 323.35 points, or 1%, to 32,717.60. The Nasdaq composite rose 210.16 points, or 1.8% to 11,926.24. They followed similar gains in other markets around the world. A measure of nervousness among stock investors on Wall Street is back near its lowest levels since early this month, before Silicon Valley Bank became the second-largest US bank failure in history, the AP reports. The S&P 500 is on track to close a tumultuous month with a modest gain.

Forceful actions by regulators in the US and around the world have helped to calm some of the worries about banks. Among the big actions taken by regulators was a government-brokered takeover by one Swiss banking giant of another. In that deal, UBS said Wednesday it’s bringing back former CEO Sergio Ermotti to help it absorb its troubled rival, Credit Suisse . Ermotti led the bank through its turnaround following the 2008 financial crisis. UBS stock in Switzerland rose 3.7%. Other big banks across the continent also strengthened, which helped indexes there to rise 1% or more.

On Wall Street, the vast majority of financial stocks in the S&P 500 rose. In the US, most of the scrutiny has been on smaller and midsized banks that are seen as more at risk of a sudden exodus of customers, similar to the run that toppled Silicon Valley Bank. Some of the banks recently at the center of Wall Street's hunt for similar banks rose sharply. First Republic Bank jumped 5.6%, and PacWest Bancorp gained 5.1%.

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Lululemon jumped 12.7% after the athletic apparel company reported stronger profit and revenue for its latest quarter than expected. Micron Technology on Wednesday rose 7.2% even though it reported a bigger loss and weaker revenue for its latest quarter than expected. Analysts said they were expecting a rough quarter, and they see some signs of optimism on the horizon as bloated inventories in the industry appear to be working down.

(More stock market stories.)

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