Stocks Close Higher on Wednesday as Tech Names Lead a Turnaround, Dow Adds 300 Points: Live Updates


Stocks rose broadly Wednesday, as strong gains in tech helped the Nasdaq rebound after a losing session. Sentiment was also lifted by easing concerns around the state of the banking sector.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average surged 323.35 points, or 1%, to close at 32,717.60. The S&P 500 gained 1.4% to end at 4,027.81, and the Nasdaq Composite added nearly 1.8% to close at 11,926.24.

Big Tech shares also rose. Meta and Netflix added more than 2%, and Apple closed nearly 2% higher. Amazon jumped more than 3%.

Micron shares climbed more than 7% after the chipmaker posted its fiscal second-quarter figures, despite the company posting a $1.4 billion inventory write-down. Shares climbed on comments from executives that the inventory issues are improving. Other semiconductor names followed Micron higher. Nvidia climbed 2%, while AMD added 1.6%.

Regional banks rose, with the SPDR S&P Regional Banking ETF (KRE) advancing about 1%. Big banks such as Citigroup and Goldman Sachs also gained.

The benchmark 10-year Treasury yield inched up to 3.57% as of market close, and the short-term 2-year rate climbed to 4.09%.

The major averages fell Tuesday, as some investors worried that higher interest rates could tip the economy into a recession — even as Wall Street tried to move past this month's regional banking crisis.

"Every day that something doesn't break is a good day," said Ed Yardeni, president of Yardeni Research. He added that the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank may have been the biggest and final break in the sector, which is helping give investors confidence that the Fed has control of limiting further contagion.

"The market keeps waiting for something [else to break] but Silicon Valley Bank was that something," he said.

Lea la cobertura del mercado de hoy en español aquí.

All 11 S&P 500 sectors trade up

All 11 of the S&P 500 sectors traded up, helping power the index's rally.

Leading the way up was information technology with a 1.9% advance, followed by real estate at 1.7%. Health care was the laggard of the group, but was still up 0.1%.

The broader index, meanwhile, gained 1.2%.

— Alex Harring

Calmer Treasury market helping stocks, B. Riley's Art Hogan says

The choppiness that has engulfed the Treasury market has eased, at least for Wednesday. This is one of the main drivers for the stock market's solid performance, B. Riley Wealth Management's Art Hogan said.

"The most important thing is Treasury yields have calmed down for the moment," the firm's chief market strategist told CNBC. "We went through this period where yields collapsed. Then, they were rocketing back up. Now they're getting to a more normalized place."

Treasury yields have seen unprecedented volatility in March, as traders dealt with changing monetary policy expectations and a banking crisis in the U.S. The 2-year yield at one point this month traded above 5% before falling to around 3.5%. On Wednesday, it was back around 4%.

"It really traps investors," Hogan said. "There's no handbook for 20 basis-point moves in a day."

— Fred Imbert

High-yield defaults spiking higher this year, S&P says

Defaults on speculative-grade corporate debt are on track to more than double from a year ago, S&P Global Ratings said Wednesday.

Junk-level defaults are projected to hit 4% this year, compared to 1.7% a year ago. That's still about on track with the long-term 4.1% default rate, the firm said.

"If, as we expect, unemployment rises and discretionary spending erodes, consumer-reliant sectors, which make up roughly half of borrowers in the 'CCC' to 'C' categories, will suffer most," S&P said in a report.

—Jeff Cox

Investors Intelligence bulls rose back above 40% in latest weekly survey

Bullish sentiment among financial newsletter editors moved back above 40% in the latest weekly survey from Investors Intelligence, rising to 40.8% from 39.7% the week before. It had peaked so far this year at 48.6% in January, which was also the highest reading since the end of 2021.

"Bulls nearing 50% are suggestive of a trading top," whereas "on the downside, bulls below 30% suggest high cash positions and thus diminished risk for longs for contrarians," Investors Intelligence says.

Bearish opinion moved down to 26.8% from 28.8% a week ago, and remains far below the early October high of 44.1%, a level that was also reached last June 2022. Both June and October 2022 later proved bear market lows for stocks.

The percentage of editors foreseeing a correction rose to 32.4% from 31.5% last week. "Typically this group increases as markets rally," II said.

The "bull-bear spread" widened to 14 points from 10.9 points and was positive for a 19th straight week. The latest reading "allows for higher market levels, with worries only starting when the spreads exceeds" 20 points, according to II.

— Scott Schnipper

Carnival shares rally on Susquehanna upgrade

Susquehanna upgraded Carnival to positive from neutral on Wednesday, sending shares of the cruise operator 3.9% higher in midday trading.

The company's revenue and marketing initiatives, fleet optimization plans, modest 2023 capacity growth are among the reasons the Wall Street firm believes Carnival can see unit margin recovery into 2024.

"Looking at the balance sheet, we believe CCL has ample liquidity, with our FY23 adjusted EBITDA estimate of ~$3.9B >2x the debt maturing through YE. Importantly, CCL has made it clear that with the ongoing recovery in demand, revolver renewal complete, lower capex profile, and expectations for positive FCF in FY23, they have 'no intention' of issuing equity," Christopher Stathoulopoulos wrote in a note.

He also raised his price target on the stock to $11, implying nearly 18% upside from Tuesday's close.

— Michelle Fox

Lululemon, Micron among stocks moving the most midday

These are some of the stocks moving the most midday:

Lululemon - Shares of the athleticwear company soared more than 13% after the firm reported strong holiday-quarter earnings and revenue that beat Wall Street estimates. Lululemon also issued upbeat guidance for its new fiscal year.

Micron Technology — The semiconductor manufacturer added 5.3% after management said it was planning a bigger headcount reduction than previously expected. That helped investors overlook Micron's misses on both the top and bottom lines, according to Refinitiv.

Carnival — Shares gained 3.6% after being upgraded by Susquehanna to positive from neutral. The Wall Street firm said it sees EBITDA recovery for the cruise operator into 2024. The move comes a day after the stock gained 6.1% following an upgrade by Wells Fargo to equal weight from underweight.

Read the full list of stock's moving midday here.

— Samantha Subin

Steepening yield curve inversion is clearest signal of a recession, Comerica’s John Lynch says

The increasingly inverted U.S. Treasury yield curve is flashing the clearest market signal for investors, according to John Lynch, chief investment officer at Comerica Wealth Management. 

According to a Wednesday note from Lynch, the 2-year Treasury bill has been falling more than that of the 10-year Treasury note–a trend that has occurred ahead each of the past five recessions. Lynch added that the yield on the 2-year Treasury is about 100 basis points less than the Federal Funds rate, which he noted as a precondition of previous recessions.

"We believe the message from the 2-year Treasury bill is one of caution and not a green light for the outperformance of growth and technology names," Lynch wrote. "Market interest rates are declining for a reason, and the bond market continues to point toward recession. Therefore, we continue to believe that economic contraction looms. Solid employment remains a favorable backdrop, in our opinion, suggesting a mild recession."

The yield on the benchmark 10-year note was recently slightly lower at 3.554%. The 2-year note also dipped into the red, dropping to 4.058%. The Treasury yield curve, which is the difference between yields on long-term bonds and short-term notes, is viewed as a recession indicator and measure of broader economic health. Longer-term yields tend to be higher than shorter-term yields.

— Pia Singh

Tech stocks rise, Nasdaq jumps more than 1%

Strength in technology stocks lifted the Nasdaq Composite nearly 1.3% as of 11:45 a.m. on Wednesday, helping the tech-heavy index bounce back following a losing session.

Semiconductor and big technology stocks contributed largely to those gains, with Amazon up nearly 3%. Apple, Nvidia, Microsoft, Meta Platforms, Salesforce and Netflix gained more than 1% each.

A rise in Micron shares despite a disappointing quarter boosted the broader semiconductor sector. Micron added about 6%, while Marvell Technology, Intel and Lam Research gained at least 4% each. ON Semiconductor, Qualcomm and Analog Devices rose more than 2%, while Advanced Micro Devices inched 1.4% higher.

The S&P 500's information technology sector rose 1.6%, while communication services added about 1%.

— Samantha Subin

Cathie Wood dumps Chinese EV player XPeng

Ark Invest's Cathie Wood sold 226,727 XPeng shares out of ARK Autonomous Technology & Robotics ETF (ARKQ) on Tuesday, according to the firm's daily trades update. The Chinese electric vehicle company is now ARKQ's smallest holding with only 9,319 shares left.

Wood previously said XPeng would be one of the first players to become market leaders in autonomous taxis, according to Ark invest's 2023 big ideas presentation.

— Yun Li

Bank of America's technical strategist says there's a bearish trend in Amazon's chart

There is a bearish trend showing up in Amazon's chart, according to Bank of America.

Amazon shares are trading at around $97, and stuck in a downtrend given falling 26- and 40-week moving averages, said BofA's technical strategist Stephen Suttmeier.

"The immediate trend is bearish below chart resistance, the declining 40-week MA and the downtrend line from April 2022 in the 102 to 207 area," Suttmeier wrote.

"The risk for a break of nearby support at 90-88 to suggest downside back to the recent low at 82-81, with a deeper drawdown to the 2019 low and downside counts at 65-61 not ruled out," the strategist added.

— Sarah Min

Shares of SoFi Technologies could gain up to 43%, Piper Sandler says

Piper Sandler reiterated its overweight rating on SoFi Technologies and lifted its price target on the financial services company to $8, suggesting a 43% upside from Tuesday's close. The stock was recently up about 2.7%, slightly lower than its 5.9% climb earlier this morning.

Analyst Kevin J. Barker wrote in a note to clients on Wednesday that in his view, SoFi is well-positioned to meet or exceed its first-quarter EBITDA guide of $40 to $45 million due to its strong growth in net interest income.

"The growth in spread income is driven by increasing loan balances funded by very strong deposit growth, which has emerged as the main source of funding for SOFI in the past year," the note reads. "This growth is poised to accelerate as depositors look for other sources for their funds amongst this bank turmoil."

— Pia Singh

Fed's Barr said regulators had 'substantial authority' to oversee failed banks

Officials had enough rules to effectively oversee the regional banks that failed recently, the Federal Reserve's top regulator said Wednesday.

"I think we had substantial authority under existing law to regulate firms and supervise firms in a way that is appropriate for their risk and size and complexity," Michael Barr, the Fed's vice chair of supervision, told the House Financial Services Committee.

Some lawmakers, such as Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) have suggested that tighter regulations are needed for banks. Barr and other banking officials seemed to agree with that sentiment during Senate testimony Tuesday.

Barr said the failures that led to the demise of Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank were spread.

"I think any time you have a bank failure like this, bank management clearly failed, supervisors failed and our regulatory system failed. So we're looking at all of that," he said.

—Jeff Cox

Semiconductor ETFs turn positive for week, on track for best quarters since 2020

Wednesday's session has helped two semiconductor ETFs turn positive for the week — and are on pace to post their best quarters since 2020.

The VanEck Semiconductor ETF (SMH) and iShares Semiconductor ETF (SOXX) are both up more than 2% in morning trading. If the two remain up through close, it would be their first advances in four days.

That gain has helped each turn positive for the week. Both were last up around 0.4% so far this week.

Meanwhile, both are poised to post their best quarters in more than two years as investors grew increasingly optimistic about what growing interest in artificial intelligence could mean for the stocks. With just a few sessions left in the quarter, the VanEck Semiconductor ETF is up 25.6%. That's the ETF's best quarterly performance since the second quarter of 2020.

Meanwhile, the iShares Semiconductor ETF has gained 23.7% this quarter, its best performance since the fourth quarter of 2020.

The ETFs have been helped by strong performances from semi stocks including Nvidia, Advanced Micro Devices and STMicroelectronics, which have all surged more than 40% this quarter. Nvidia is on track to post its best quarter since the fourth quarter of 2001, when the stock shot up 143.5%.

— Alex Harring, Gina Francolla

Bernstein says Mastercard will see upsides from rollout of Apple Pay Later

The rollout of Apple Pay Later has positive implications for Apple Pay partner Mastercard, according to Bernstein.

Analyst Harshita Rawat wrote in a Tuesday note that "our thesis that for tech giants (and most fintechs), the networks are essential partners for growth (and scale) vs. profit pools to take share from."

"Apple Pay Later, which runs on Mastercard Installment Service, further solidifies Apple's relationship with the networks, with whom it already heavily partners with for Apple Pay acceptance. The economics are attractive — Mastercard will get an installment network fee as well as network fees from any repayment transactions (if on MA debit card)," said Rawat.

"A [buy now, pay later] transaction is attractive for the networks since it splits a single transaction into four repayments," the analyst continued.

Financial services company's shares were up 0.8% on Wednesday. Mastercard's stock has has gained 2.8% in 2023, amidst a 2.8% decline during the past 12 months.

— Hakyung Kim

Citi upgrades Lululemon shares to buy

Citi raised its rating on Lululemon shares to buy from neutral, after the company topped fiscal fourth-quarter estimates and offered an upbeat forecast for the coming year.

The firm says that Lululemon is "checking all the right boxes," with "all systems ready to go" for accelerated growth in 2023. 

"While we liked the stock coming into 4Q (3/24 note), we feel even better following 4Q results and the F23 outlook," analyst Paul Lejuez wrote in a Wednesday note. "Inventory-to-sales gap [was] better than expected," Lejuez said, with a "pathway to further improvement (with limited markdown pressure)." 

CNBC Pro subscribers can read more about his upgrade here.

— Hakyung Kim

Micron gains despite disappointing earnings, leads chip stocks higher

Micron Technology shares jumped more than 7% even after it posted a wider-than-expected loss for the recent quarter and revenue that fell short of expectations.

The chip maker posted an adjusted loss of $1.91 a share on $3.69 billion in revenue. Analysts surveyed by Refinitiv had anticipated a loss of 86 cents a share on $3.71 billion in revenue. Many analysts also viewed the quarter as a sign that margin recovery is ahead despite near-term constraints.

The move in Micron shares boosted other chip stocks, with Western Digital and Intel last up more than 3%. Nvidia and Advanced Micro Devices gained 1.8% each, while Lam Research and On Semiconductor added more than 2%.

— Samantha Subin

UBS shares climb as old CEO returns

Shares of UBS jumped on Wednesday after the Swiss bank announced it was bringing back Sergio Ermotti as CEO to help oversee the absorption of Credit Suisse.

Ermotti, who previously served as the bank's CEO from 2011 to 2020. He will resume control on April 5th.

In a note to clients, Bank of America analyst Alastair Ryan cited Ermotti's "signature restructuring" of the bank during his previous tenure as a reason for investors would be happy with his return.

The Swiss-traded shares of UBS rose 4.4% following the announcement.

The stock is still down since the first week of March, when worries about the banking system on both sides of the Atlantic began.

— Jesse Pound

Stocks pop at the open

The Dow jumped more than 200 points at the open. The S&P 500and Nasdaq advanced at least 1% each.

— Fred Imbert

Stocks making the biggest moves premarket

Check out the companies making headlines before the bell on Wednesday:

  • Lululemon – Lululemon shares surged nearly 16.8% before the Wednesday open after posting a strong holiday quarter and sharing upbeat guidance for the current fiscal year.
  • Urban OutfittersBurlingtonFoot LockerRoss Stores — Major apparel and home goods retailers were in the red on Wednesday morning after UBS downgraded the group to sell from neutral, saying it sees at least 23% downside to its price targets for each of the companies as a slowdown in consumer spending curbs the industry's earnings prospects.
  • Paychex Inc. — Shares of the payroll services company were up about 2.8% premarket ahead of fiscal third-quarter earnings due after the close on Wednesday. Analysts expect revenue of $1.36 billion and earnings per share of $1.25, according to FactSet.

Read here to see which other companies are making moves before the open.

— Pia Singh

Lucid's layoffs could be start of a trend, Jonas says

Tuesday's announcement from Lucid that it is cutting 1,300 jobs could be a sign of things to come in the electric vehicle industry, according to Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Jonas.

The analyst said in a note to clients on Wednesday that the capital-intensive industry is due for a period of belt-tightening with higher rates and tighter lending standards making cash more important.

"We believe other EV startups may need to consider similar actions to what Lucid has announced given the increasingly competitive EV environment coupled with a challenging capital raising environment," Jonas said. "In our view, many of the growth projections of EV startups given over the past years that required significant external funding may now need to prioritize actions to help elongate liquidity levels and create time to improve operational excellence, cost reduction and to potentially re-engage with new strategic partners."

Jonas has an underweight rating on Lucid, whose shares are down more than 80% from their peak in November 2021.

— Jesse Pound, Michael Bloom

Yardeni likes financial sector 'even more' since sell-off

Market veteran Ed Yardeni isn't letting the recent banking tumult bother him — in fact, he thinks now would be a good time to load up on what he sees as an oversold sector.

The head of Yardeni Research said in his daily client note Wednesday that he had been a fan of the S&P 500 financial sector and, "We like it even more now that the stocks are cheaper as a result of the SVB debacle."

"That's mostly because our economic outlook hasn't changed. We don't expect more bank runs, a credit crunch, and a recession," he wrote. "We believe that the rapid response by the Fed and the FDIC should avert any contagion."

Yardeni said he sees forced higher deposit rates to result in M&A for an industry that is the most undervalued vs. the broader S&P 500 since the mid-1980s.

The Financial Select Sector SPDR ETF was up nearly 1% in premarket trading Wednesday but is down 8.2% year to date.

—Jeff Cox

UBS says sell Foot Locker

UBS downgraded Foot Locker shares to sell from neutral, cutting its price target on the footwear retailer to $30 per share from $36 per share. The new target implies downside of 25% from Tuesday's close.

"Our conversations with investors suggest the market is too focused on potential margin recapture and not focused enough on downside risks to sales. To many, a recession significantly weighing on softgood sales is still a bear case. For us, it is a base case," UBS said.

— Hakyung Kim

Goldman Sachs says it's time to buy Marathon Petroleum

The bank upgraded Marathon Petroleum to buy from neutral.

Marathon Petroleum was previously its top pick within the refining oil segment from 2018 to 2022, but was "prematurely" downgraded to neutral, Goldman said. Analyst Neil Mehta upgraded the stock again, saying that he still sees momentum for the stock's return of capital and execution. 

"We highlight the return of capital for MPC is substantial, where we raise our buyback forecasts. … Ultimately, we believe MPC deserves a premium multiple given these factors," Mehta said. 

CNBC Pro subscribers can read the full story here.

— Hakyung Kim

Not time to panic over commercial real estate ... yet, BCA Research says

Strategists at BCA Research noted that it's not the time to panic over the state of the commercial real estate market.

Last week, Bank of America's Michael Hartnett noted that commercial real estate could be the "next shoe to drop" as the U.S. financial sector contends with a banking crisis.

"Is the next wave of banking turmoil stemming from trouble in commercial real estate markets inevitable? The answer is no," BCA Research said. "First, loans may end up being paid off, especially now that work-from-home for many employees is being rolled back, and occupancy rates are rising. Second, declines in the value of commercial loan portfolios are just paper losses for now, and may stay just that as long as banks are not forced to liquidate their portfolios."

"While investors should keep an eye on the commercial real estate market, there is no need to panic just yet," BCA added.

— Fred Imbert

Fitch says Adani Transmission, Adani Ports exposed to contagion risks

Adani Transmission and Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone are exposed to "higher contagion risks," Fitch Ratings said in its press release.

"The governance weaknesses at the sponsor level and other Adani group entities expose even the group's stable cash-generative corporate-like issuers, Adani Transmission Limited and Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone Limited, to higher contagion risks," said Fitch Ratings.

It added that if such risks are not properly addressed, the entities could see its financial flexibility being affected.

Fitch reiterated both companies' ratings at BBB- in the release. Shares of Adani Transmission fell 0.5% in Wednesday's trade in Mumbai, while Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone rose by more than 5%.

– Jihye Lee

Europe stocks open higher

European stock markets were upbeat in early Wednesday trade, with the pan-regional Stoxx 600 index up 0.5% at 8:20 a.m. London time.

France's CAC 40 was up by 0.65%, Germany's DAX by 0.42% and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 by 0.26%.

Banks extended the previous session's gains, climbing 0.5%.

— Jenni Reid

Alibaba's overhaul could be followed by technology peers: KraneShares

Alibaba's major shakeup could be followed by its Chinese technology peers, according to KraneShares' CIO Brendan Ahern.

"I think investors are saying what we saw in Alibaba, really the leader in China tech, that their plans might be utilized by others," Ahern said, pointing to the ADR moves seen in Tencent,, and Baidu overnight.

Shares of Tencent rose 2.5%, Meituan gained 4.6%, Baidu rose nearly 2% and Kuaishou gained 3.8% in Hong Kong's morning trade.

He added the company's announcement showed that Alibaba founder Jack Ma, who was recently spotted in China after spending months abroad, was involved in the process.

"It's very clear he played a role in this new structure that is really around what the company said in the press release, it's about unleashing the shareholder value," said Ahern.

– Jihye Lee

Alibaba's HK-listed shares open 15% higher after announcing major shakeup

Shares of Chinese tech giant Alibaba jumped 15% on Wednesday in early trade, mirroring moves in its U.S.-listed shares overnight.

This comes after Alibaba announced a reorganization of the company overnight that will see the company split into six different units.

The stock was the largest gainer on the Hang Seng Index, along with e-commerce name and subsidiary Alibaba Health Information Technology

— Lim Hui Jie

Pending homes sales data set to release Wednesday after the open

The latest pending home sales data is set to release Wednesday after the open. Economists polled by Dow Jones forecast a decline of 3% in February, down from a rise of 8.1% the previous month.

— Sarah Min

Lululemon shares pop 12% in after hours trading

Lululemon shares jumped 12% in extended trading Tuesday after the athletic apparel retailer beat Wall Street's estimates for adjusted earnings and revenue.

The company posted adjusted earnings of $4.40 per share on revenue of $2.77 billion. That topped analyst expectations of per-share earnings of $4.26 on revenue of $2.70 billion, according to consensus estimates from Refinitiv.

— Sarah Min

Micron shares fall slightly in extended trading after earnings

Micron Technology shares slipped 0.3% in extended trading after the semiconductor manufacturer missed expectations on the top and bottom lines in its second quarter results.

Micron reported a loss of $1.91 per share on revenue of $3.69 billion. Analysts polled by Refinitiv anticipated a loss of 86 cents per share on revenue of $3.71 billion.

— Sarah Min

Stock futures open higher

U.S. stock futures ticked higher Tuesday night after the major averages declined on the back of higher bond yields.

Dow Jones Industrial Average futures rose by 34 points, or 0.1%. S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 futures climbed 0.14% and 0.13%, respectively.

— Sarah Min

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