Stocks Mixed Despite Lingering Concerns in the Banking Sector…..

U.S. stocks turned mixed to close out the day, which follows a sharp decline last week amid turmoil in the banking sector. The uneasiness that came after the recent collapses of SVB Financial and Silvergate Capital has been exacerbated by the closure of Signature Bank in New York over the weekend. In M&A news, Pfizer confirmed that it reached an agreement to acquire cancer drugmaker Seagen in a transaction valued at about $43 billion. Treasury yields tumbled, and the U.S. dollar dropped, while crude oil prices saw pressure, and gold rallied. The economic calendar was dormant today, but will heat up tomorrow as the Consumer Price Index (CPI) will be released, beginning the development of the February inflation picture. Asia finished mixed, with Chinese and Hong Kong markets rising, and European stocks fell amid heightened volatility due to the turbulence in the banking sector.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 91 points (0.3%) to 31,819, and S&P 500 Index went down 6 points (0.2%) to 3,856, while the Nasdaq Composite increased 50 points (0.5%) to 11,189. In moderately heavy volume, 6.5 billion shares of NYSE-listed stocks were traded, and 6.1 billion shares changed hands on the Nasdaq. WTI crude oil lost $1.88 to $74.80 per barrel. Elsewhere, the gold spot price rallied $51.10 to $1,918.30 per ounce, and the Dollar Index fell 0.9% to 103.66.

The stock markets attempted to stabilize after tumbling last week in the wake of the failure of SVB Financial Group (SIVB), as well as crypto-related Silvergate Capital Corp. (SI). The closure of Signature Bank (SBNY) over the weekend, has added to the concerns toward the banking sector and fueled uncertainty about contagion in the financial markets. However, the Treasury Department, the Fed and Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) have enacted several measures to contain the issue.

Treasury rates continued to tumble, as the yield on the 2-year note plunged 66 basis points (bps) to 3.94%, the yield on the 10-year note fell 17 bps to 3.53%, and the 30-year bond rate lost 2 bps to 3.68%.

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