Bank Rally Fuels Broad-Market Gains Midday

Investors are looking ahead to tomorrow's conclusion of the Federal Reserve's two-day policy meeting

Deputy Editor
Mar 21, 2023 at 11:54 AM
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All three major indexes are boasting respectable leads at midday. Regional bank stocks are continuing to rally, led by soaring First Republic Bank (FRC) stock, with help from Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen's reassuring remarks. Meanwhile, Wall Street is considering the chances of a quarter-point rate hike at tomorrow's conclusion of the Federal Reserve's two-day policy meeting, and new home sales jumped 14.5% in February. 

Continue reading for more on today's market, including: 

  • Solar stock sees post-earnings options surge.
  • Schaeffer's analyst makes a bearish case for PNC stock.
  • Plus, options traders blast rallying FRC; Knight-Swift agrees to buy USX; and HUYA's post-earnings drop.

Midday Market Stats March 212023

First Republic Bank (NYSE:FRC) shares are rebounding after closing at record low of $12.18 on Monday. JPMorgan Chase (JPM) is reportedly advising the embattled bank on strategic alternatives. FRC's options volume is running rampant today, with 77,000 puts and 71,000 calls across the tape so far today, volume that's four times the average intraday amount. The most popular contract is the weekly 3/24 5-strike put, while new positions are being opened at the April 7.50 put. First Republic bank stock is down 90.1% over the last 12 months.

FRC March 212023

US Express Enterprises Inc (NYSE:USX) is the New York Stock Exchange's (NYSE) best performing stock so far this afternoon -- last seen up 298% at $5.97 -- after Knight-Swift (KNX) agreed to buy the ground freight company for $6.15 per share, or a total enterprise value of $808 million. Year-to-date, USX is now up nearly 230%.

The U.S.-listed shares of China-based Huya Inc (NYSE:HUYA) are trading at the bottom of the NYSE, after the videogame streaming concern's worse-than-expected fourth-quarter results. Higher content costs weighed, with Huya adding it "may face continued pressure from the volatile market environment in the near term." The shares were last seen 16.1% lower to trade at $3.29, now 35% lower year-over-year.


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