5 Things to Know Before Markets Open

News of the day for March 17, 2023

First Republic Bank

Justin Sullivan / Staff / Getty Images

First Republic gets a $30 billion rescue package, U.S. Treasury Secretary Yellen told Congress that the banking system is sound, and FedEx delivers better-than-expected results. Here’s what investors need to know today.

1. First Republic Shares Slip After Suspending Dividend

First Republic Bank (FRC) shares fell over 20% in pre-market trading after announcing it was suspending its common dividend. Shares had skyrocketed yesterday after it received $30 billion in deposits from a group of large banks as part of a rescue package. JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, and others were part of the package for the lender to shore up First Republic’s liquidity.

2. Shares Jump After FedEx Delivers Results

FedEx (FDX) shares jumped more than 11% in pre-market trading after the delivery company beat analyst earnings estimates and raised its guidance for the full year. For its fiscal third quarter, FedEx reported earnings of $3.41 per share from $22.2 billion in sales. Analysts had been looking for earnings of $2.71 per share from sales of $22.7 billion. The company plans to earn about $14.10 per share, up from December guidance of $13.50 per share and analyst estimates of $13.58 per share. FedEx shares are up 15% so far this year, but down 10% over the past year.

3. Yellen Assures Lawmakers that the Banking System is Sound

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen told U.S. lawmakers that the U.S. banking system is healthy after the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank. Yellen told the Senate Finance Committee that bank regulators’ depositor rescue plan has stemmed the fallout from the panic. She defended the decision to protect uninsured deposits (above $250,000) at the two banks because officials needed to prevent depositors from racing to pull their money out, noting the risks of a potentially bigger crisis.

4. Consumer Sentiment Index Due Today

At 10 a.m. ET, the University of Michigan releases its preliminary Consumer Sentiment Index for March. The forecast calls for a reading of 67.4, about even with February. The Federal Reserve will release industrial production data which is expected to rise 0.2% in February. Manufacturing capacity utilization likely increased 0.1% to 78.4%.

5. Sanofi Slashes Insulin Prices

Diabetes drug giant Sanofi is cutting insulin prices by as much as 78%, joining other big diabetes drugmakers facing pressures over high costs. Sanofi will cap patients’ out-of-pocket costs for Lantus insulin at $35 a month.

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  1. CNBC, “Dow futures fall 300 points, First Republic leads regional banks lower: Live updates

  2. CNBC, “Stocks making the biggest moves premarket: Nvidia, First Republic, FedEx and more”

  3. US News, “Treasury’s Yellen Tells Congress ‘Our Banking System Is Sound’”

  4. Investing.com, Dow futures fall 85 pts; Michigan consumer sentiment index due

  5. Reuters,  Sanofi to cut US price of its most-prescribed insulin by 78%

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