Markets Drop on Renewed Bank Worries

Table showing the performance of major U.S. financial indexes on May 4, 2023

Key Takeaways

  • U.S. equities indexes dropped on May 4, 2023, as reemerging questions about the stability of the banking sector dragged stocks lower.
  • Markets also reacted to the Fed's interest rate hike and comments about future policy.
  • A decline of 0.9% in Thursday's session sent the Dow into negative territory for 2023.

U.S. equities tumbled as worries about the health of regional banks resurfaced and as the market responded to the previous day's comments from Fed Chair Jerome Powell about the future of interest rates. The selloff sent the Dow into negative territory for 2023. Bond yields fell, and gold and silver prices jumped as investors shifted money out of stocks into so-called "safe havens."

Shares of regional banks tumbled after struggling PacWest Bancorp (PACW) said that it was considering "strategic options." Its shares plunged 50%. Western Alliance Bancorp (WAL) shares also fell on reports that it was exploring strategic options including a sale, although the bank denied the reports and said they were false. The SPDR S&P Regional Banking ETF (KRE) lost 5.5%. Larger banks weren't immune from the concerns, with shares of Goldman Sachs (GS), JPMorgan Chase (JPM), and other big financial firms falling as well.

Paramount Global (PARA) shares plummeted as the media company missed quarterly forecasts and slashed its dividend. Peloton Interactive (PTON) shares fell after the exercise equipment and training provider's loss was more than expected.


Ball Corporation (BALL) was the best-performing stock in the S&P 500 after the packaging and aerospace firm's earnings exceeded estimates. Royal Caribbean Cruises (RCL) shares gained as the cruise line raised its profit guidance. Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) shares took off on a report that the semiconductor firm was working with Microsoft (MSFT) to make a chip for Microsoft's artificial intelligence (AI) applications.

Shopify (SHOP) shares soared as the ecommerce site posted a surprise profit, sold its logistics unit, and cut its workforce by 20%. Shares of Newmont Corporation (NEM) and other gold miners advanced along with the price of gold.

Oil futures rebounded from earlier losses to end relatively flat. The U.S. dollar rose versus the euro but fell against the pound and yen. Most major cryptocurrencies traded higher.

Table showing the S&P 500 stocks with the biggest gains and losses on May 4, 2023
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