By Steve Gelsi
Western Alliance Bancorp triggered powerful gains in beaten up regional-bank stocks on Wednesday after it said its deposits have grown by $2 billion during the second quarter.
Regional banks and the U.S.'s largest banks also drew strength from optimism in financial markets around a potential debt ceiling deal in U.S. Congress.
Also Read: Dow advances over 400 points after Biden offers glimmers of hope for debt-ceiling deal
Western Alliance Bancorp (WAL) is rallying 10.5% after it said it had about $50 billion in deposits as of May 12, up from $47.6 billion as of March 31, according to a filing late Tuesday.
Other bank stocks that have been under pressure since Silicon Valley Bank collapsed on March 10 also regained their footing.
PacWest Bancorp (PACW) moved up by 21.2%, while Zions Bancorp (ZION) is up by 11.1%; First Horizon Corp. (FHN) is up 6.3%, and Comerica Inc. (CMA) is up by 11.9%. PNC Financial Services Group Inc.'s (PNC) gain of 6.3% ranks as its largest move up in a single day since Nov. 9, 2020, when it rose by 11.6%.
The KBW Nasdaq Bank Index is up by 4.9%, the Financial Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLF) is up by 2% and the SPDR S&P Regional Banking ETF (KRE) is up by 7.4%.
Western Alliance Bancorp is also nearing the completion of about 50% in sales of the $6 billion of loans reclassified to held-for-sale in the first quarter, as part of its balance sheet repositioning.
Jefferies analyst Casey Haire reiterated a buy rating on Western Alliance and said the bank's update reaffirms deposit stability.
"The update is another data point that demonstrates WAL is distancing itself from recent industry turmoil and should be well received by the market," Haire said.
Prior to Wednesday's gains, Western Alliance Bancorp stock was down 47% in 2023, amid turmoil among regional-bank stocks following the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank, First Republic Bank and Signature Bank since March.
Megabank stocks also rose on Wednesday as a whopping $31 billion debt offering from pharmaceutical giant Pfizer Inc. (PFE) boosted underwriting activity. Bank of America Corp.'s (BAC) BofA Securities unit, Citigroup Inc. (C), Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) and J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. (JPM) are joint lead managers and joint book-running managers for the Pfizer offering, which consisted of eight tranches priced between 4.45% and 5.34%.
Wells Fargo & Co.'s stock (WFC) is rallying 5.3% as the biggest gainer among the U.S.'s six largest banks. It's on pace for largest percent increase since July 15, 2022, when it rose 6.17%, according to Dow Jones data.
Wells Fargo is trading above $40 a share for the first time in about three weeks. On April 25, the company's stock closed at $40.55.
Bank of America stock is up 4.3%; Citigroup is up 3.7%; Goldman Sachs is up 2.7%; and JPMorgan Chase is up by 2.8%
In another boost to megabanks. UBS Group AG (UBS) said it would book a gain of $35 billion for its purchase of Credit Suisse (CSGN.EB).
Also Read: UBS estimates $35 billion gain from buying Credit Suisse, the latest huge boost to megabanks
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May 17, 2023 15:47 ET (19:47 GMT)
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