S&P 500 reclaims 4,000 mark, stocks end higher ahead of Fed rate decision

The S&P 500 on Tuesday posted its highest close since the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank earlier this month, which sent shockwaves through financial markets and raised concerns about the stability of the U.S. banking system. The S&P 500 index
closed up about 51 points, or 1.3%, ending near 4,003, according to preliminary data from FactSet. That was its highest close since May 6, four days before the failure of Silicon Valley, the biggest bank collapse since the 2008 global financial crisis. The Dow Jones Industrial Average
rose 1% Tuesday, while the Nasdaq Composite Index
swept to a 1.6% gain. Banks and companies with heavy exposure to rate-sensitive assets, including property loans, have been under pressure since Silicon Valley Bank’s implosion. It drew attention to some $600 billion in paper losses at banks from their holdings of “safe” but low-coupon securities that have fallen in value in the year since the Federal Reserve began rapidly increasing interest rates to combat high inflation. Those older bonds end up worth less when investors have access to new securities with higher yields, with a similar low-risk profile in terms of credit risks. The failure of several regional banks in March, plus the sale of Credit Suisse
to rival bank UBS
over the weekend, has reawakened fears of potentially broader problems in the banking system as central bank have increased rates and ended an era of easy money. Even so, stocks were rallying as the Federal Reserve at the conclusion of its 2-day policy meeting on Wednesday is expected to raise its policy rate by another 25 basis points.

See: The Fed will either pause or hike interest rates by 25 basis points. What are the pros and cons of each approach?

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