Markets Gain on First Republic Bank Aid, Tech Enthusiasm

Table showing the performance of major U.S. financial indexes on March 16, 2023


Key Takeaways

  • U.S. stocks posted gains on March 16, with an industry bailout for First Republic Bank (FRC) and positivity around tech stocks sending markets higher.
  • The tech-heavy Nasdaq added nearly 2.5% in Thursday's session, while the S&P 500 and the Dow advanced around 1.8% and 1.2%, respectively.
  • Semiconductor stocks contributed to the gains in the tech sector, with Intel (INTC) leading the Dow higher following an analyst upgrade.

U.S. equities jumped on an industry bailout of struggling First Republic Bank (FRC) and on enthusiasm for semiconductor and other tech stocks. The Dow and S&P 500 rose more than 1%, and the Nasdaq popped 2.5%.

First Republic was the best-performing stock in the S&P 500, bouncing back from big losses earlier in the day after several major banks pledged $30 billion to prop up the ailing financial institution. Shares of Comerica (CMA), Regions Financial (RF), and other regional banks increased. However, American Depositary Receipts (ADRs) of Credit Suisse Group (CS) closed flat, giving up early gains after the struggling Zurich-based bank received financial backing from Swiss officials.

Semiconductor stocks helped drive the tech advance. Intel (INTC) led the Dow higher after an analyst upgraded the shares and said that the sector was ready to soar. Shares of Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), Nvidia (NVDA), and others in the industry took off. 

Shares of Alphabet (GOOGL), Amazon (AMZN), and Microsoft (MSFT) added 4%. Apple (AAPL), Meta Platforms (META), and Tesla (TSLA) shares climbed. Adobe (ADBE) shares moved nearly 6% higher as the software maker exceeded profit and sales forecasts and raised its outlook.

Icahn Cuts Newell Brands Stake

SolarEdge Technologies (SEDG) was the worst-performing stock in the S&P 500, and shares of others in the solar sector declined. Newell Brands (NWL) shares dipped as billionaire investor Carl Icahn reduced his stake in the consumer products maker. Shares of Dollar General (DG) sank as the discount retailer missed quarterly estimates.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury note reversed course during the session and gained. The same was true for oil futures. Gold prices fell. The U.S. dollar lost ground to the euro and pound but rose versus the yen. Major cryptocurrencies traded in the green.

Table showing the S&P 500 stocks with the biggest gains and losses on March 16, 2023


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