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“I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies.” – Thomas Jefferson

Morning stock market summary

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Futures are lower this morning heading into the 8:30 Non-Farm Payrolls report but given the action in SVB Financial (SIVB) which is trading down over 60% for the second straight day, the biggest surprise may be that futures aren’t even lower.

The February Non-Farm Payrolls report was just released and while it was mixed relative to expectations, it was generally positive for markets.  Economists were expecting the headline reading to come in at 225K this morning, but the actual reading came in at 311K. Below the surface, though, the Unemployment rate was higher than expected, average hourly earnings were lower than expected, and average weekly hours were also lower than expected.

Yesterday was one of the worst days for bank stocks in years.  In the 17 years that the S&P Regional Banking ETF (KRE) has been trading, Thursday’s 8.11% plunge was only the 22nd single-day decline of 7.5% or more, and it was the first since the COVID shock in early 2020. Before that, you have to go back to the debt limit and US credit rating downgrade of August 2011 to find the next occurrence when there was one day (8/8/11) when the ETF fell just under 10%.  During the Financial Crisis, moves like yesterday’s almost seemed common. Whether yesterday was a one-day shock in the bank stocks or not remains to be seen, but based on the history of prior occurrences, like cockroaches, more often than not, when there’s one single-day large decline, others are usually lurking.

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