U.S. stocks fall as Credit Suisse adds more pressure to bank group
By Liz Moyer
Investing.com -- U.S. stocks tumbled as Credit Suisse (SIX: CSGN ) raised fresh concerns about the banking system.
At 9:48 ET (13:48 GMT), the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 428 points or 1.3%, while the S&P 500 was down 1.3% and the NASDAQ Composite was down 0.9%.
Credit Suisse Group (NYSE: CS ) stock plunged 23% after the Saudi National Bank, a top investor, said regulations prevented it from being able to provide any more financial assistance to the Swiss finance firm.
At the same time, fresh economic data was stoking hopes for a less aggressive Federal Reserve. Retail sales fell 0.4% in February, a greater-than-expected contraction after rising 3.2% in January.
Producer prices rose 4.6% in the year through February, compared with expectations for an increase of 5.4%.
Futures traders are now divided on what the Fed’s next move will be. About half are betting there won’t be an interest rate move next week, while half believe the central bank will raise rates by a quarter of a percentage point, according to CME’s FedWatch tool.
Bank stocks had recovered somewhat on Tuesday after a rout on Monday because of the sudden collapse of SVB Financial Group (NASDAQ: SIVB ) and Signature Bank (NASDAQ: SBNY ) over the weekend. Regional banks were under pressure again on Wednesday.
Shares of First Republic Bank (NYSE: FRC ) were down 7.4%, while shares of Western Alliance Bancorporation (NYSE: WAL ) were down 6.3% and PacWest Bancorp (NASDAQ: PACW ) slid 17.8%.
Big banks were also falling, such as JPMorgan Chase & Co (NYSE: JPM ), down 3.8%, and Bank of America Corp (NYSE: BAC ), down 3.4%.
Oil fell. Crude Oil WTI Futures were down 3.6% to $68.77 a barrel, while Brent Oil Futures crude was down 3.4% to $74.80 a barrel. Gold Futures were up 0.8% to $1,927.
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