Stocks end lower as fears spread over banking fallout

Traders at the New York Stock Exchange on March 10.
Traders at the New York Stock Exchange on March 10. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Stocks tumbled on Friday after the sudden collapse of top 20 bank SVB left investors reeling.

Wall Street’s fear gauge, the VIX, jumped 15% Friday afternoon as investors flocked to safe havens to avoid being caught in any banking contagion.

While shares of big banks steadied on Friday after falling late on Thursday, shares of smaller banks continued to suffer. The SPDR S&P Regional Banks ETF, an exchange-traded fund that tracks regional banks, fell 4.4 percent.

The sell-off sent the S&P 500 nearly negative for the year, erasing nearly all of its previous gains.

Meanwhile, U.S. Treasury yields posted their steepest drop since 2008, when the collapse of Lehman Brothers sent investors into bonds and out of stocks.

SVB’s collapse upstaged the biggest story of the day, the February jobs report. However, traders weren’t even sure what to do with the “Goldilocks” data, which showed a boom in hiring, with 311,000 new jobs added, but wages rose 0.2% last month.

The Dow fell 345 points or 1.1% on Friday. The S&P 500 fell 1.5 percent and the Nasdaq Composite lost 1.8 percent.

For the week, the Dow fell 4.4%, its worst week since June. The S&P 500 fell 4.6 percent and the Nasdaq lost 4.7 percent.

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