Regional Banks Recover, Stocks Vault by Noon

The S&P 500 rebounded Thursday, as a comeback in regional bank shares on news of potential support for a closely followed bank calmed investors amid the ongoing crisis.

The 30-stock index muscled higher 168.1 points to 32,042.67.

The S&P 500 hiked 43.29 points, or 1.1%, to 3,934.22.

The NASDAQ Composite changed direction and climbed 201.4 points, or 1.8%, to 11,635.45, as investors bought technology stocks on hopes that the crisis could push the Federal Reserve to shift its outlook on monetary policy at its meeting next week.

The Wall Street Journal reported that big banks including JPMorgan Chase and Morgan Stanley were in talks for a possible capital infusion to troubled First Republic Bank. A full takeover was possible, according to sources cited by The Journal, though that path was considered unlikely.

Also boosting markets was an announcement from Credit Suisse overnight that it will borrow up to nearly $54 billion from the Swiss National Bank to assure short-term liquidity. The embattled bank after it fell to a record low Wednesday following reports that the Saudi National Bank, Credit Suisse’s largest investor, said it would not provide additional assistance. U.S.-listed shares were higher by 2% on Thursday.

Investors around the world also followed the announcement of a further rate hike of 50 basis points from the European Central Bank Thursday.

The decision comes as U.S. investors ready for the Federal Reserve policy meeting next week. Big technology shares such as Amazon and Alphabet gained more than 3%.

Prices for the 10-year Treasury sagged, raising yields to 3.49% from Wednesday’s 3.47%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices shed six cents to $67.55 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices retreated $13.10 to $1,918.20 U.S. an ounce.