Stocks Rally As Wall Street Breathes Sigh Of Relief

Stocks rallied on Thursday, as Wall Street's bank sector panic subsided amid reports that a group of banks were discussing depositing $30 billion in First Republic Bank (FRC). What's more, Credit Suisse (CS) announced it would borrow up to $53.68 billion from the Swiss National Bank. These developments helped investors brush off fewer-than-expected jobless claims and lackluster manufacturing data.

The Dow gained 371 points, while the Nasdaq also added triple digits and scored its fourth-straight win, and the S&P 500 finished firmly above breakeven. Elsewhere, the Cboe Volatility Index (VIX) had its worst day since May.

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Oil prices rose today, though recession fears still gripped investors, with the commodity yesterday slipping below the $70 region. April-dated crude added 74 cents, or 1.1%, to close at $68.35 per barrel on the day.

Gold prices settled lower despite hitting a six-week high earlier. The upbeat bank developments today for now dulled the demand for the safe-haven asset. April-dated gold fell $8.30, or 0.4%, to settle at $1,923 per ounce.

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