- Markets fell as the banking sector suffered more losses.
- Federal authorities are probing the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank.
- Diamond Sports files for bankruptcy protection.
Here are the most important news items that investors need to start their trading day:
1. More turmoil
So much for that rebound. After bank stocks helped lead a Tuesday turnaround on Wall Street, even after Moody's downgraded the entire sector to negative, they fell again during premarket trade Wednesday in the U.S. Overseas, market action was already in full effect, and it wasn't pretty. Credit Suisse shares plunged in Europe after its biggest backer, the Saudi National Bank, said it wouldn't provide further assistance, leading to a broader selloff. "The failure of Silicon Valley Bank has spilled into the European equity market," a Citi strategist wrote. Follow live markets updates.
2. DOJ, SEC probe SVB
The Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission are investigating the meltdown of Silicon Valley Bank. That should come as no surprise, given that it was the biggest bank collapse since the 2008 financial crisis. While the probes are still in their early stages, NBC News reported that federal investigators are looking into stock sales that SVB executives made ahead of the tech-friendly bank's failure. CEO Greg Becker and other executives cashed out a total of $84 million in stock over the past two years. Critics also took aim at the bank's leaders for taking bonuses just before regulators closed it down.
3. U.S.-Russia collision raises alarms
Talk about terrible timing. Markets and economies were already on edge due to the problems in the banking sector and central banks' battle against inflation. So it didn't help when a Russian fighter jet collided Tuesday with a U.S. Reaper drone over the Black Sea, which borders both Russia and Ukraine. The drone went down, and U.S. officials blamed Russian pilots' "reckless" behavior. The Russians, in turn, blamed the U.S., saying the drone was "moving deliberately and provocatively towards the Russian territory with its transponders turned off." Read live war updates.
4. Ohio sues Norfolk Southern
The East Palestine, Ohio, trail derailment is going to haunt that community for a long time. Norfolk Southern won't be able to shake it, either. Ohio on Tuesday sued the railroad over the early February derailment of a train carrying toxic materials near the state's border with Pennsylvania. Several state and federal authorities are already investigating the derailment. Norfolk Southern's CEO, meanwhile, has apologized and pledged to help clean and support the community. But he and other authorities have said it's safe to live in East Palestine. There have been reports, however, of cleanup workers and local residents getting sick. Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost said he experienced some discomfort at the site as well.
5. A regional sports titan seeks protection
Diamond Sports, America's biggest owner of regional sports networks, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy Tuesday night. Diamond said it plans to continue broadcasting local NHL, NBA and MLB games on its 19 networks under the Bally Sports brand, even as it restructures its debt load – which stood at $8 billion. Diamond is an unconsolidated and independently run subsidiary of Sinclair Broadcast Group, which bought the networks from Disney in 2019. The debt load largely came from that deal. Diamond's filing comes as the NHL and NBA regular seasons near their end, with baseball season's Opening Day coming March 30.
– CNBC's Samantha Subin, Yun Li, Robert Frank, Amanda Macias, Holly Ellyatt, Sara Salinas, Noah Sheidlower and Lillian Rizzo contributed to this report.
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