Wall St near flat in wake of First Republic fire sale

·2-min read

US stocks ended little changed as investors took in the weekend auction of First Republic Bank and braced for another expected interest rate hike from the Federal Reserve this week.

The KBW regional banking index fell sharply, while shares of JPMorgan Chase & Co, which won the auction of First Republic, rose.

JPMorgan will pay the US Federal Deposit Insurance Corp $US10.6 billion ($A16.0 billion) to take control of most of the regional bank's assets.

Investors have been on edge about the banking system's health following the collapse of two other regional banks in March.

"Hopefully this is sort of the last of the banking crisis, but something else might surface at some point," said Tim Ghriskey, senior portfolio strategist at Ingalls & Snyder in New York.

Market watchers also digested the latest economic news. The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) said on Monday that its manufacturing PMI rose last month from March.

The Fed, which has been raising rates to cool inflation, is expected to hike rates an additional 25 basis points on Wednesday.

According to preliminary data, the S&P 500 lost 2.15 points, or 0.05 per cent, to end at 4,167.33 points, while the Nasdaq Composite lost 14.83 points, or 0.12 per cent, to 12,211.75. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 50.42 points, or 0.15 per cent, to 34,047.74.

Energy stocks fell along with crude oil prices .

Recent earnings, however, are providing some optimism for investors, Ghriskey said. First-quarter results from S&P 500 companies have mostly beaten expectations, easing economic concerns.

"We've had good earnings relative to expectations. Analysts for now have backed off of lowering estimates," he said. "If we could have rates at this level ... and corporate America continue to deliver, it's very positive."

Recent upbeat earnings from Alphabet Inc, Microsoft Corp and Meta Platforms Inc helped the benchmark S&P 500 notch its second consecutive month of gains on Friday.