Wall Street ends up, calmed by the absence of a new bank accident

The floor of the New York Stock Exchange (GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA/AFP/SPENCER PLATT)

The New York Stock Exchange ended up slightly on Friday, rather satisfied to end the week without any major new development on the banks’ front, even if the market remains cautious and wait-and-see.

The Dow Jones gained 0.41%, the Nasdaq index gained 0.31% and the broader S&P 500 index gleaned 0.57%.

The New York market had started in the red, hampered by the renewed tension linked to the stock market dropout of Deutsche Bank, treated as the new weak link in the banking sector.

But in Frankfurt, the title of the largest German establishment by the size of the assets recovered at the end of the session, which somewhat soothed the nerves of the operators.

“The market is digesting a very volatile week,” commented Adam Sarhan of 50 Park Investments. In this context, “the absence of bad news is considered a positive point. The fact that no major bank fell this week is, in itself, favorable.”

In fact, the VIX index, which measures market volatility, ended down 3% after jumping 11% at the start of the day.

Favorite target of Wall Street since the failure of three American establishments, the regional bank First Republic limited its losses (-1.44%) after having sold up to more than 6%.

Other investor painkillers in recent days have even ended in the green, like the Californian PacWest (+3.19%), the Salt Lake City (Utah) brand Zions (+2, 91%) or the Western Alliance bank (+5.76%), based in Phoenix (Arizona)

The sector nevertheless remains under pressure and some big names in the market, such as Morgan Stanley (-2.20%) and JPMorgan Chase (-1.52%) have suffered.

“Many questions are still unresolved regarding the banking system,” said Adam Sarhan.

The president of the antenna of St. Louis (Missouri) of the American central bank (Fed) James Bullard estimated at 80% “the probability that the tensions on the financial system decrease”, during an intervention, Thursday.

Mimicking equities, the bond market regained its wits during the session and after plunging, Treasury bill rates rebounded.

Initially down to 3.55%, the yield on 2-year US government bonds, more volatile at the moment than its 10-year equivalent, rose to 3.77%, against 3.83% the day before in fence.

For two weeks that the stock markets have been living to the rhythm of the hiccups of the banking system, the macroeconomic indicators “have passed into the background”, according to Adam Sarhan.

This was again the case on Friday with the S&P Global purchasing managers’ indices for the month of March, which came out well above expectations for both manufacturing and services activity.

On the stock market, Activision Blizzard shone (+5.91%) after the publication of an opinion from the British Competition Authority (CMA), estimating, after examination, that the acquisition of the video game publisher by Microsoft (+1.05%) would not have a “substantial” effect on the UK console games market.

The day after its slippage linked to accusations from the Hindenburg Research fund, which accuses it of misleading investors and laxity in regulatory matters, Block remained in decline (-1.94%).

First beneficiary of the setbacks of TikTok, even more weakened after the hearing of its general manager in Congress on Thursday, Meta remained well oriented (+0.85%), as did Snap (+1.49%), parent company of the Snapchat social network.

The company specializing in space launches for small satellites Virgin Orbit was propelled (+50.06%) by press reports on an imminent injection of funds into the capital of this company, which has been in difficulty since the failure of a launch in beginning of the year.

© 2023 AFP

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