Stock Market Today: Stocks Slide as Regional Bank Rout Worsens

The major market indexes closed lower Thursday as chaos in the banking industry continued.

Outside of Pacific Western Bank building
(Image credit: AaronP/Bauer-Griffin/Getty Images)

Panic selling in regional bank stocks resulted in losses for the major indexes Thursday. 

PacWest Bancorp (PACW) suffered the most devastating decline, shedding half its value after the California-based lender said in a statement it is considering "strategic asset sales," and "will evaluate all options to maximize shareholder value." There were plenty of other headlines for investors to consider today, too, like the biggest initial public offering (IPO) in almost two years and a busy earnings calendar

Although today's slide in PACW shares garnered the most attention, it was hardly the only regional bank stock that got hit with sizable losses. Western Alliance (WAL) tumbled 38.5% after denying media reports that it is contemplating putting itself up for sale, while First Horizon (FHN) slid 33.2% after Canada's Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD, +1.0%) said regulatory concerns forced it to abandon a plan to buy the Tennessee-based lender.

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"At this rate, no regional bank can survive bad news or bad data as a stock price plunge inevitably follows, insured and uninsured deposits are withdrawn and 'pursuing strategic alternatives' means an FDIC shutdown over the coming weekend," wrote Bill Ackman, billionaire investor and hedge fund manager, on Twitter. "And there is no incentive to bid until Sunday after the failure."

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Also in focus Thursday was Kenvue (KVUE), which jumped 22.3% in its stock market trading debut. The consumer health products company, whose brands include Band-Aid, Tylenol and Listerine, was spun off from Johnson & Johnson (JNJ, -0.5%) in an initial public offering that priced at $22 per share Wednesday night. 

"Johnson & Johnson, a component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, raised $3.8 billion from the offering," writes Dan Burrows, senior investing editor at "That's the largest haul from an IPO since late 2021, according to Renaissance Capital." 

Moderna, Paramount Global report earnings

Other stocks making notable moves on Thursday were Moderna (MRNA), which popped 3.2% after the COVID-19 vaccine maker reported top- and bottom-line beats, and Paramount Global (PARA), which plunged 28.4% after the media giant's Q1 results missed estimates and it slashed its dividend payment.

As for the major indexes, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.9% to 33,127, the S&P 500 slid 0.7% to 4,061, and the Nasdaq Composite gave back 0.5% to 11,966.

The best low-volatility strategies

As we've said several times recently, volatility in the stock market is likely to stick around for a while. On the immediate horizon are an earnings report this evening from mega-cap tech giant Apple (AAPL), as well as the monthly jobs report tomorrow morning. And next week brings the latest inflation figures, with the April consumer price index (CPI) due out Wednesday a.m. Longer term, continued instability in the banking industry, heightened recession fears and a looming debt-ceiling standoff could all spark wild swings in stocks. 

Investors looking to hedge against market uncertainty can check out the best low-volatility stocks or the best low-volatility ETFs, both of which can help add ballast to a portfolio during periods of instability. 

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.