Stock Market Today: Markets Up Again as Bank, Energy Stocks Outperform

The major indexes closed higher for a second straight day ahead of tomorrow's highly anticipated Fed decision.

red and green bar chart showing big price swings up and down
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Stocks closed higher for a second straight day as anxiety eased ahead of tomorrow's key Fed decision. 

Turmoil in the financial sector has sparked volatile price swings in bank stocks in recent weeks, but a lack of jarring headlines today helped calm investors' nerves. Some bargain hunting also buoyed the broader market, with financial and energy – two of the most beaten-down sectors of late – seeing notable upside on Tuesday. 

Lifting the financial sector were words from Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, who said in prepared remarks for a speech to the American Bankers Association that the government is prepared to "to protect the broader U.S. banking system" from "the risk of contagion." First National Bank (FRC) was among the biggest movers today, surging 29.6%. Still, shares of the regional lender are roughly 90% lower than where they closed last Tuesday. 

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PacWest (PACW, +18.8%) and Western Alliance Bancorp (WAL, +15.0%) were two other bank stocks that enjoyed big gains. 

Energy was another outperforming sector, rising 3.5% as U.S. crude futures climbed 1.2% to $68.48 per barrel – their highest close in a week. Signs of stabilization in the banking industry is helping lower expectations of a recession, which in turn is boosting the oil market. APA (APA, +6.6%), Devon Energy (DVN, +4.4%) and Marathon Oil (MRO, +5.6%) were some of the best energy stocks today.

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Still, the bulk of Wall Street's attention remains focused on the Federal Reserve; specifically, how big of a rate hike – if any – will the central bank announce tomorrow. The Fed meeting kicked off today, and has become even more anticipated over the past two weeks following the failures of Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank. Chances for a 50 basis point (0.50%) rate hike quickly went out the window after the bank closures, with Fed funds futures currently pricing in an 86.4% probability of a 0.25% rate increase, according to CME Group.

"Just as rising interest rates were part of the recipe that led to SVB's collapse, interest rates will be impacted in turn again in the aftermath of the collapse," says Shyam Pradheep, general manager at financial education app Zogo. "While we don't know which way the Fed will go yet, many will be looking at whether there is a shift in the balance between wrestling inflation to the ground, meaning further rate hikes, and keeping the economy from tumbling into a recession with flat or lower rate hikes in the future." 

Ahead of tomorrow's highly anticipated event, the Nasdaq Composite rose 1.6% to 11,860, the S&P 500 added 1.3% to 4,002, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 1.0% to 32,560.

AI's top stock picks

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So, what does Danelfin say investors should be buying now? Read on as we take a look at the platform's latest high-scoring stocks.

Karee Venema
Contributing Editor,

With over a decade of experience writing about the stock market, Karee Venema is an investing editor and options expert at She joined the publication in April 2021 after 10 years of working as an investing writer and columnist at Schaeffer's Investment Research. In her previous role, Karee focused primarily on options trading, as well as technical, fundamental and sentiment analysis.