Bank stocks started to bounce back in midday trading on reports that two embattled lenders were receiving fresh financial support, easing some of the worries on Wall Street about a global banking crisis.
Shares of the U.S. lender First Republic were still down about 15% Thursday but notched an improvement from the 35% decline suffered earlier in the day, after Bloomberg reported that the bank was exploring its options, including a potential sale.
The regional bank pared some of those losses after a report in the Wall Street Journal said it was in talks with financial giants including JPMorgan and Citigroup to potentially provide a cash infusion to First Republic — whose stock plummeted after two credit rating agencies downgraded it to junk status earlier this week.
Neither media report, each citing people familiar with the discussions, has been confirmed independently by NBC News.
First Republic is among a handful of midsize and regional bank stocks that have been under pressure since the collapses of Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank. First Republic had the third-highest rate of uninsured U.S. deposits after those two failed lenders.
The S&P was up more than 1% Thursday afternoon, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained more than 170 points. A fund that bundles regional bank stocks was trading about 1.4% higher.
The upturn followed news earlier in the day that Credit Suisse had agreed to borrow $54 billion from Switzerland’s central bank. Credit Suisse — Switzerland’s second-largest commercial lender — saw its stock surge on the announcement, reversing a steep decline Wednesday as part of a broader market selloff.