Stock market today: Dow slides as Credit Suisse slump keeps banks in firing line

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Stock market today: Dow slides as Credit Suisse slump keeps banks in firing line
Credit: © Reuters.

By Yasin Ebrahim -- The Dow closed lower Wednesday as distress in Credit Suisse (SIX: CSGN ) stoked further worries about a looming banking crisis and fueled more bearish bets on banks.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.9%, or 280 points, the Nasdaq Composite was up 0.1%, and the S&P 500 was down 0.7%.

Credit Suisse Group (NYSE: CS ) fell 14%, taking losses for the year to 40% amid growing concerns about a run on the Swiss bank after its biggest backer, Saudi National Bank, said it wouldn’t be able to provide further financial support, citing regulatory restrictions. The Swiss National Bank, however, helped ease concerns, pledging to provide Credit Suisse with liquidity if needed.

The turmoil in Credit Suisse added to growing concerns about a widespread banking crisis at a time when some U.S. banks are also in the spotlight.

First Republic Bank (NYSE: FRC ) fell more than 20% after the S&P Global, a credit rating agency, downgraded the bank’s creditworthiness to BB+, or “junk” status,  from A-, amid concerns that depositors may pull their money.

Worries about a deepening banking crisis come even as the Fed stepped in to rescue the Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank, while also launching a new lending facility to prevent further runs in banks.

Still, that hasn’t stemmed the crisis of confidence in the banking sector, pushing the odds of the no-rate hike higher to nearly 50% from 20% a day earlier, according to’s Fed Rate Monitor Tool.

The calls for the Fed to pause were further strengthened following economic data showing cooling wholesale inflation and signs of weakness in the consumer as retail sales unexpectedly slowed.

Retail sales are expected to slow further in coming months, Morgan Stanley says, as the emergency allotments benefits expired in March, the “labor market continues to cool, and households become more cautious spenders, drawing down less and less on their excess savings…”

Energy stocks, down more than 5%, were also a big drag on the broader market as oil prices fell amid fears of the impact of a potential banking crisis on global growth and energy demand.

APA Corporation (NASDAQ: APA ), Baker Hughes Co (NASDAQ: BKR ), and ConocoPhillips (NYSE: COP ) were among the biggest decliners.

Tech, meanwhile, was flat as lower Treasury yields pushed big tech stocks higher, and helped offset a dip in semiconductor stocks.

Google-parent Alphabet (NASDAQ: GOOGL ) led big tech higher, up more than 2%, while Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL ), Facebook (NASDAQ: FB ) (NASDAQ: AMZN ) and Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT ), ended the day in the green.  

The market selloff has pushed stocks into oversold territory, setting up the potential for a rebound, Janney Montgomery Scott said, adding that the overall bottoming cycle remains intact.

“The overall basing/bottoming cycle remains intact in our view, but the ride may get bumpier before it gets better. Markets remain oversold and coiled for potential mean reversion rallies ahead- we’re just waiting on something to trigger a more notable reversal ahead.”

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