U.S. Stocks Trim Losses On Late Buying; Nasdaq Ends Slightly Up

U.S. stocks came off the session’s lows on Wednesday, but still ended on a weak note, with bank stocks feeling the brunt of selling pressure.

The major averages all recovered well from the day’s lows, but the Nasdaq managed to close with a small gain.

The Dow ended down 280.83 points or 0.87 percent at 31,874.57, nearly 450 points off the session’s low of 31,429.82. The S&P 500, which fell to 3,838.24, ended at 3,891.93, losing 27.36 points or 0.7 percent. The Nasdaq, which tumbled to 11,238.44, settled at 11,434.05, gaining 5.90 points or 0.05 percent.

In addition to ongoing concerns about turmoil in the financial sector following the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank, short-term debt woes of Swiss lender Credit Suisse contributed to the bearish sentiment in the market.

Credit Suisse shares fell nearly 25 percent in the Swiss market after Saudi National Bank, the bank’s largest investor, reportedly said it would not provide anymore funding to the Swiss lender.

The market also digested the latest batch of economic data. The Commerce Department data showed retail sales in U.S. fell by 0.4 percent in February after spiking by an upwardly revised 3.2 percent in January. Economists had expected retail sales to decrease by 0.3 percent compared to the 3 percent surge originally reported for the previous month.

Producer prices in the U.S. unexpectedly edged slightly lower in the month of February, according to a report released by the Labor Department.

The Labor Department said its producer price index for final demand slipped by 0.1 percent in February after rising by a downwardly revised 0.3 percent in January. Economists had expected producer prices to increase by 0.3 percent compared to the 0.7 percent advance originally reported for the previous month.

JP Morgan Chase fell nearly 5 percent. Chevron, Boeing, Caterpillar, Goldman Sachs, Travelers Companies and Honeywell International ended lower by 3 to 4.6 percent.

American Express drifted down more than 2.5 percent. Visa and IBM also ended notably lower.

Microsoft surged about 2 percent. Amgen, Walmart, P&G, Intel and Walgreens Boots Alliance also closed higher.

Alphabet gained about 2.3 percent, recovering well after an early setback. Facebook gained nearly 2 percent, and Amazon climbed 1.4 percent. Apple ended modestly higher.

In overseas trading, Asian stocks advanced on Wednesday as U.S. bank contagion fears eased and China’s economic data for January and February confirmed activity was recovering in the aftermath of COVID restrictions and outbreaks.

European stocks tumbled on Wednesday, with those from the banking sector going down sharply following Swiss lender Credit Suisse’s short-term debt crisis triggering a massive sell-off.

The pan European Stoxx 600 fell 2.92 percent. The U.K.’s FTSE 100 plunged 3.83 percent, Germany’s DAX tumbled 3.27 percent, and France’s CAC 40 dropped 3.58 percent.

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