Cooler with mostly cloudy skies and a few showers possible, more likely the farther south and west you travel. .
Skies become partly cloudy overnight.
Updated: May 9, 2023 @ 5:51 am
President Biden is trying to avert a government default that could rattle world financial markets.
NEW YORK — Stocks slumped Tuesday after shares of beleaguered banks tumbled again and worries worsened about the economy.
Rising fear sent yields sinking in the bond market, while Wall Street waited for the Federal Reserve’s latest move on interest rates and Washington edges closer to what would be a catastrophic default on U.S. government debt.
The S&P fell 1.2% after paring a steeper loss. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 367 points, or 1.1%, after earlier being down as many as 615 points. The Nasdaq composite sank 1.1%.
Some of the sharpest drops came from smaller- and mid-sized banks, which have been under heavy scrutiny as the banking system shows cracks under the weight of much higher interest rates. PacWest Bancorp dropped 27.8%, Western Alliance Bancorp fell 15.4% and Comerica sank 12.4%.
Three of the four largest U.S. bank failures in history have come since March, and investors have been on the hunt for what could be next to topple or suffer a debilitating exodus by customers.
Regulators seized First Republic Bank at the start of this week and sold most of it to JPMorgan Chase, which had raised hopes that the turmoil could ease.
Also pressuring the market was a report showing U.S. employers advertised the fewest job openings in nearly two years during March. The job market has been one of the main pillars supporting a slowing economy, and a drop-off there would likely mean a recession.
Such pressure is raising the stakes for the Federal Reserve, which began a two-day meeting on interest rates. The widespread assumption is that it will raise rates on Wednesday by another quarter of a percentage point. The widespread hope is that it will be the last increase for a long time.
The Fed has jacked up rates at a furious pace from early last year, up to a range of 4.75% to 5% from virtually zero. It’s trying to beat down high inflation, but high rates do that by taking a blunt hammer to the economy.
High rates have already hit the housing market sharply and hurt the banking system. Many investors are preparing for a recession to hit later this year.
That has many traders betting the Fed will halt its rate hikes and perhaps even cut them later this year. That would offer the market more breathing room, and stocks have historically done well in the months immediately following the last rate hike.
If you know of local business openings or closings, please notify us here.
– Air Products & Chemicals Inc. plans to invest a half-billion dollars to produce environmentally friendly hydrogen in New York state.
– The Trexlertown Chick-Fil-A plans to add a second drive-thru lane as part of a plan to reduce traffic congestion.
– The Harrisburg-based Mid Penn bank has opened its first full-service branch in the Lehigh Valley in South Whitehall.
– The Allentown Planning Commission put off a decision on a new Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen at the site of the former Nostos Greek restaurant.
– The former Star Crete concrete plant at the intersection of Farmersville Road and Easton Avenue has been sold for $1.58 million, and that may clear the way for a medical office building.
– The local business SuperSets Gym will open its third location in Allentown’s South Mall, with no opening date set yet.
– The jewelry boutique Versant will close later this year, but the business will be consolidated at Gary Werkheiser’s other location in Saucon Valley Square.
– The DSW Woodmill Commons has moved to Berkshire West, 1101 Woodland Road in Wyomissing.
– Trainer Michael Melendez has opened his new Reading Extreme Boxing Club where PacSun used to operate in the Berkshire Mall.
– Frackville NAPA Auto Parts held a grand opening with the Schuylkill Chamber of Commerce and Frackville Business & Professional Association.
– Fyzical Therapy & Balance Centers in North Manheim Township held a grand opening, in conjunction with the Schuylkill Chamber of Commerce and Pottsville Business Association.
– PDC Machines, a maker of hydrogen compressors, showed off a new plant in Lower Salford.
– Maya Capital Partners has acquired Amwell Valley Self Storage, a 265-unit storage business on Route 31 in Ringoes, New Jersey.
– Norwescap is buying the former Sullivan’s on the Main restaurant in Phillipsburg to renovate the building and then use it for programs to help educate and feed people.
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