5 things you need to know before the stock market opens on Wednesday, March 29

  • The run on Silicon Valley Bank could have been worse.
  • The FBI accused Sam Bankman-Fried of bribing at least one Chinese official.
  • Starbucks Senator Bernie Sanders and Howard Schultz face each other at a Senate hearing.

Here are the most important news items investors need to start their trading day:

The market is in a transition period. The Fed pushed through its latest rate hike while signaling that it may pull out of its aggressive tightening regime. The turmoil in the banking sector has subsided for the time being, it seems. And the next earnings season won’t start for a few weeks. This in-between atmosphere has been evident in stock performance recently. The Dow and S&P 500 stumbled a bit on Tuesday after a recent string of gains, while the Nasdaq fell for a second straight day. Futures looked slightly better Wednesday morning. Still, rising government bond yields could continue to weigh on riskier technology stocks, hinting that the hitherto elusive recession may be on the horizon after all. Follow live market updates.

Michael S. Barr (R), Vice Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve, testifies before the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee on March 28, 2023 in Washington, DC.

Win Mcnamee | Getty Images

The run on Silicon Valley Bank sent a shock wave through the global banking system. And it could have been worse, according to Michael Barr, the Federal Reserve’s vice chairman of oversight. After depositors pulled $42 billion from SVB on March 9, another $100 billion in deposits would be withdrawn on March 10, Barr told a Senate hearing about the bank’s collapse. That would have wiped out nearly all of the bank’s deposits. Instead, regulators stepped in to shut down the bank, and eventually the FDIC underwrote all deposits. Barr, along with FDIC Chairman Martin Gruenberg and Treasury Secretary Nellie Liang, will speak to House lawmakers on Wednesday.

Former FTX Chief Executive Sam Bankman-Fried, charged with fraud over the collapse of the bankrupt cryptocurrency exchange, leaves Manhattan federal court in New York City Feb. 16, 2023.

Eduardo Munoz | Reuters

This is not the payoff Sam Bankman-Fried was hoping for. Federal prosecutors on Tuesday added one more charge to the fallen crypto king’s pile of alleged crimes: bribery. The former FTX boss, also known as SBF, paid at least $40 million in bribes to “one or more Chinese officials” in an effort to unblock some of SBF’s Alameda Research accounts. SBF and its cohorts then used the unlocked funds to fuel their dubious business, prosecutors said. Bankman-Fried, who lives with his parents in California on strict bail, has pleaded not guilty to multiple federal crimes. His trial will begin in October.

Jamie Dimon, Chairman and CEO of JPMorgan Chase & Co., at a hearing before the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee in Washington, DC, U.S., on Thursday, September 22, 2022.

Al Drago | Bloomberg | Getty Images

JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon has agreed to testify in two lawsuits against the bank involving the late child sex trafficker and financier Jeffrey Epstein, a source familiar with the case told CNBC’s Hugh Son. Epstein — who had powerful friends such as Microsoft’s Bill Gates, Britain’s Prince Andrew, and former U.S. presidents Bill Clinton and Donald Trump — was tied to JPMorgan primarily through his relationship with former CEO Jes Staley. JPMorgan, in turn, sued Staley for his link to Epstein. The bank is aiming for about $80 million in payback recoveries — and Staley should be responsible for any payouts the company has to make as a result of the lawsuits.

Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) (L), Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz

Reuters (L) | Getty Images (R)

Call it the Battle of Brooklyn. In this corner, Bernie Sanders of Midwood, the pro-workers senator representing Vermont. And in this corner, Howard Schultz of Canarsie, the former Starbucks CEO who opposed the unions. The two will go head-to-head at a Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing that begins Wednesday at 10 a.m. ET. Starbucks initially resisted letting Schultz, who remains on the coffee company’s board, testify in defense of the company’s labor practices. Subsequently, Sanders, who chairs the committee, threatened a subpoena, prompting Starbucks and Schultz to agree. Sanders has accused Schultz of leading a union campaign as baristas in nearly 300 Starbucks cafes voted to organize. Schultz, who is proud of Starbucks’ otherwise progressive reputation, dismisses that criticism. And who knows? Maybe he’ll bring some olive oil coffee to break the ice at the hearing.

– CNBC’s Sarah Min, Hugh Son, MacKenzie Sigalos, Rohan Goswami and Amelia Lucas contributed to this report.

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