US STOCKS-Wall Street falls over 1% as bank worries keep investors jittery


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      First Republic Bank tumbles on suspending dividend

      SVB Financial seeks bankruptcy protection

      FedEx jumps on full-year profit forecast raise

      Indexes down: Dow 1.42%, S&P 1.31%, Nasdaq 1.13%

 (Updates prices and comments)
    By Shubham  Batra and Amruta Khandekar
       March 17 (Reuters) - 
    Wall Street's main indexes fell more than 1% on Friday as
efforts to provide lifelines to some regional lenders failed to
assuage investor fears of a broader banking crisis.
        Big banks including JPMorgan Chase & Co  JPM.N  and
Morgan Stanley  MS.N  had stepped in to inject $30 billion into
First Republic  FRC.N  on Thursday, helping calm some nerves and
lifting U.S. stocks. 
        The boost was shortlived and fears of a banking crisis
gripped the market on Friday, with shares of First Republic Bank
 FRC.N , which also suspended its dividend payout, dropping
    The lender's shares have taken a beating this week, slumping
68%, in a widespread bank selloff after the recent collapse of
SVB Financial  SIVB.O  and Signature Bank  SBNY.O  unleashed
fears of a broader banking crisis stemming from surging interest
    SVB Financial said on Friday it had filed for a
court-supervised reorganization under Chapter 11 bankruptcy
protection to seek buyers for its assets.
    Peer PacWest Bancorp  PACW.O  fell 13.1% while Western
Alliance  WAL.N  slid 16.9%.
    Big U.S. banks including JPMorgan, Citigroup  C.N  and Wells
Fargo  WFC.N  also declined between 3.0% and 4.1%.
    Most of the 11 major S&P 500 sectors fell.
        The KBW regional banking index  .KRX  and the S&P 500
banks index  .SPXBK  fell over 9% each in the week. 
        "Dow and S&P have taken a hit after the sell-off we had,
especially financials leading them to the downside. The fears of
what these potential bank failures could mean for the economy
have led the cyclicals to lag," said David Russell, VP of Market
Intelligence at TradeStation. 
        "At this point how the Fed reacts to the stress in the
banking sector is really what matters, because that determines
the interest rates."
    The news of First Republic's rescue came on the heels of a
50-basis-point rate hike by the European Central Bank (ECB)
despite concerns about the region's banks after troubles emerged
at Credit Suisse  CS.N , which was down 5.6%.
    Investors are now looking ahead to the Federal Reserve's
interest rate decision, due next week, to gauge how it will tame
    As U.S Treasury yields fell, megacap growth stocks Microsoft
 MSFT.O  and Alphabet  GOOGL.O  rose 0.2% and 0.5% respectively,
providing some support to the Nasdaq, which is set for its
biggest weekly percentage gain in two months.
    Money market participants now see a 67% chance of the Fed
raising rates by 25 basis points on March 22.  FEDWATCH .
    Meanwhile, data showed production at U.S. factories edged up
in February.
    At 11:49 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average  .DJI 
was down 456.83 points, or 1.42%, at 31,789.72, the S&P 500
 .SPX  was down 52.00 points, or 1.31%, at 3,908.28, and the
Nasdaq Composite  .IXIC  was down 132.31 points, or 1.13%, at
   On a positive note, shares of FedEx Corp  FDX.N  rose 7.7%
after the delivery giant raised its full-year profit forecast.
        Declining issues outnumbered advancers by a 5.46-to-1
ratio on the NYSE by a 3.56-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.
    The S&P index recorded four new 52-week highs and 18 new
lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 21 new highs and 201 new lows.

 (Reporting by Shubham  Batra and Amruta Khandekar in Bengaluru;
additional reporting by Shristi Achar A; Editing by Saumyadeb
Chakrabarty, Savio D'Souza and Vinay Dwivedi)

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