U.S. stocks are rising as investors shake off bank fears and focus on Fed

Published 03/21/2023, 09:51 AM
Updated 03/21/2023, 10:32 AM
© Reuters.
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By Liz Moyer

Investing.com -- U.S. stocks are rising as investors turn their focus to the Federal Reserve’s interest rate decision, due out Wednesday afternoon.

At 10:28 ET (14:28 GMT), the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 203 points or 0.6%, while the S&P 500 was up 0.7% and the NASDAQ Composite was up 0.6%.

Investor jitters about the state of the banking system calmed after the weekend rescue of Credit Suisse (SIX:CSGN).

Futures traders are giving it a greater than 80% chance that the Fed will raise rates by a quarter of a percentage point. That is less than what was expected just two weeks ago but more than a pause, as the Fed keeps on its path toward taming inflation.

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen is speaking to the American Bankers Association this morning in Washington. Her prepared remarks say the financial regulators are committed to taking the necessary steps to keep deposits and the system safe, as they did with Signature Bank and Silicon Valley Bank. 

Regulators could take further action if other smaller institutions see deposit runs that threaten contagion in the system, Yellen said. “The situation is stabilizing. And the U.S. banking system remains sound,” the prepared remarks said.

First Republic Bank (NYSE:FRC) shares were up 30% after tumbling on Monday on word big banks are working on a possible capital infusion. Shares of PacWest Bancorp (NASDAQ:PACW) are up 14% and shares of Western Alliance Bancorporation (NYSE:WAL) are up 10%. 

In economic data, the existing home sales reading for February showed a 14.5% month-over-month gain, and annual sales of 4.58 million, both higher than expected. 

Oil was rising. Crude Oil WTI Futures were up 1.4% to $68.77 a barrel, while Brent Oil Futures were up 1.2% to $74.66 a barrel. Gold Futures were down 1.3% to $1,957.

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