Dow futures rise 185 pts; First Citizens' move boosts confidence

  • Stock Market News
Dow futures rise 185 pts; First Citizens' move boosts confidence
Credit: © Reuters.

By Peter Nurse -- U.S. stocks are seen opening with small gains Monday, helped by renewed confidence in the stability of the country’s banking system.

At 07:00 ET (11:00 GMT), the Dow futures contract was up 185 points, or 0.6%, S&P 500 futures traded 22 points, or 0.6% higher, and Nasdaq 100 futures climbed 38 points, or 0.3%.

First Citizens Bank (NASDAQ: FCNCA ) is to buy most of the loan book of the collapsed Silicon Valley Bank, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation said on Monday, ensuring that SVB's commercial clients enjoy the immediate restoration of full banking services.

Additionally, Bloomberg reported that U.S. authorities are said to be considering expanding an emergency lending facility for banks, helping smaller regional banks to shore up their balance sheets.

That said, pressures still exist after the collapse of two U.S. lenders earlier this month, with data showing that deposits at small banks fell by $120 billion in the week to March 15, while borrowing jumped $253 billion.

Fed Chair Jerome Powell said last week that banking stress could trigger a credit crunch with "significant" implications for a slowing U.S. economy, while Fed Minneapolis President Neel Kashkari said over the weekend that bank turmoil had increased the risk of a U.S. recession.

This has changed the market’s perception of what the Fed will decide at its meeting next month.

“Markets have turned increasingly doubtful that the Fed will be able to tighten policy any further, and have simultaneously speculated on an early start to the easing cycle,” analysts at ING said, in a note.

Several Fed officials are also due to speak during the week, including Fed Governor Philip Jefferson later Monday, while the main economic focus will be Friday’s core PCE price index - the Fed's favored measure of inflation.

In corporate news, investors will keep focusing on the banking sector, but Chinese ADRs will also warrant attention after the much-publicized return of Alibaba (NYSE: BABA ) founder Jack Ma to China.

Oil stabilized Monday, hovering just above a 15-month low as traders look for fresh cues from the ongoing banking crisis, given the importance the banking sector plays in the global oil trade.

By 07:00 ET, U.S. crude futures traded 1.1% higher at $70.02 a barrel, while the Brent contract climbed 1% to $75.36.

Both crude benchmarks gained around 3% last week, recovering after a near 13% slump the previous week, their biggest weekly declines in months, on fears the banking mess, coupled with aggressive Fed hikes, will lead to a U.S. recession.

Additionally, gold futures fell 1.6% to $1,969.10/oz, while EUR/USD traded 0.1% higher at 1.0768.

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