Indexes rose swiftly from session lows in late trading Wednesday but remained lower. The Dow Jones Industrial Average reduced its loss to 1% — to a 320 point drop. Swiss banking giant Credit Suisse (CS) fell as it struggled to stay afloat, while U.S.-based First Republic (FRC) got slammed with a junk rating.
Among Dow Jones stocks, Microsoft (MSFT) is on pace to rise a third straight day. Earlier, the software giant made an AI tool available on Azure OpenAI.
Amgen (AMGN) and Merck (MRK) rose, along with Walgreens (WBA) and Walmart (WMT).
The S&P 500 was also off session lows, down a little less than 1% at 3 p.m. ET. Steel Dynamics (STLD) sold off and fell below its 50-day line. The steelmaker expects lower Q1 profit, according to reports.
The Nasdaq erased most losses and was almost flat at the hour. Tech stocks gave the index some help. Google parent Alphabet (GOOGL) gained over 2%. Netflix (NFLX) rose 3%. Both stocks were near today’s highs.
Volume on the NYSE and on the Nasdaq was higher compared to the same time on Tuesday.
Crude oil plunged 5.2% to $67.61 a barrel. Oil giants Halliburton (HAL) and SLB (SLB) fell more than 8% as other energy stocks tumbled.
The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell 18 basis points to 3.45%. The price of gold rose while Bitcoin fell.
Bank run contagion got a reboot on Wednesday. Credit Suisse shares plunged after its largest investor, Saudi National Bank, said it would not make further investments in the Swiss bank. That reverses earlier plans last year of a possible investment of up to 1.5 billion swiss francs.
First Republic (FRC) got a sharp rating cut to junk rating by S&P Global Ratings on worries that clients are pulling out their money. That is a four-level slash from A- to BB+, according to the Wall Street Journal. The new rating places the stock squarely in speculative territory. Shares dived.
Elsewhere, shares of Charles Schwab (SCHW) rose 5% in strong volume after last week’s heavy sell-off. CEO Walt Bettinger said the brokerage firm was not in dire straits and would not need to look hastily to raise money to keep running. Western Alliance Bancorp (WAL) and Metropolitan Bank (MCB) were among regional banks that reversed from steep losses.
Tech Stocks Outside Dow Jones: AMD Tops Buy Point
Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) is breaking out of a flat base, rising slightly above an 89.04 entry. Volume is running 28% above average.
Shares of Facebook parent Meta Platforms (META) rose again after its huge 7% gain on Tuesday. The IBD Leaderboard stock is building a flat base with a 197.26 entry. Also on Leaderboard, Nvidia (NVDA) reversed higher.
Stocks Moving Today
AerCap (AER) fell below its 200-day line. The aircraft leasing company dived below its 50-day line March 8 and is working on a six-day losing streak.
Shares of fertilizer maker Bunge (BG) fell 7%, reversing gains from Tuesday. Shares rallied 14% Tuesday on news that Corteva (CTVA) and Chevron (CVX) had partnered with Bunge for plant-based oil products.
In economic data, wholesale prices rose less in February compared to January. Excluding food and energy, they were unchanged. The producer price index fell 0.1% in February and was up 4.6% for the year. U.S. retail sales also fell 0.4% in February, a sharper decline than views of 0.3%.
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