Stock market today: Dow rides tech higher but banks stumble to keep gains in check

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Stock market today: Dow rides tech higher but banks stumble to keep gains in check
Credit: © Reuters.

By Yasin Ebrahim --The Dow closer higher Thursday, as tech gains were kept in check by renewed selling in regional banks. 

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.2%, the Nasdaq gained 1%, and the S&P 500 rose 0.3%

First Republic Bank (NYSE: FRC ) resumed its wobble, souring sentiment on the broader financials as focus returned to the health of regional banks.

The slip in banks comes even as Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen on Thursday said the government would be willing to step in again if needed to bring stability to regional banks.

“We have used important tools to act quickly to prevent contagion. And they are tools we could use again,” Yellen said in written testimony before a House Appropriations subcommittee.

Energy also pushed the market lower, with Schlumberger NV (NYSE: SLB ) leading to the downside as oil prices cut gains.

Treasury yields fell again on bets that the Fed is likely to pause, and eventually pivot sooner rather than later as tighter lending conditions amid stresses in the banking system will help cool inflation.

The Fed hiked rates yesterday, forecast one more hike this year, and ruled out the possibility of cuts, but markets aren’t convinced. The odds of a pause at the next meeting jumped to 68% from 31.4% the prior week, according to’s Fed Rate Monitor Tool .

Meta Platforms (NASDAQ: META ), Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL ), Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ: MSFT ) and Google (NASDAQ: GOOGL ) retreated from session highs but remained in the green.

Social media stocks were also in focus amid a potential ban of rival TikTok in the U.S. TikTok chief executive Shou Zi Chew is on Capitol Hill to deliver testimony before Congress as lawmakers mull whether to ban the app amid concerns about the app's data privacy, and possible connection to the Chinese Communist Party.

“If TikTok and ByteDance decided to fight this and potentially get banned in the US, the clear beneficiaries of this would be  Snapchat and Meta/Facebook ,” Wedbush said in a note.

The slip in rates didn’t provide relief for cryptocurrencies as sentiment was soured by reports that Coinbase (NASDAQ: COIN ) will be sued by the U.S. government for allegedly listing unregistered securities.

In other news, Block (NYSE: SQ ) fell more than 14% after shorter-seller Heidenburg accused the digital payment company of facilitating fraud and misleading investors.

On the economic front, weekly jobless claims continued to show strength in the labor market, with economists flagging the ongoing lack of labor supply.

“[T]he bottom line is that labor supply is not increasing in any meaningful way, and there is no evidence that this will change any time soon,” Jefferies said in a note.

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