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Tuesday's Bank Stocks: 'Easing of the worries' ahead of earnings

Bank stocks climbed alongside the broader market indexes Tuesday,April 12.

At the close of the trading day, the SNL U.S. Bank Index rose1.74% to 378.74 and the SNL U.S. Thrift Index went up 0.67% to 778.77. The Dow JonesIndustrial Average gained 0.94% to 17,721.25, the S&P 500 rose 0.97% to 2,061.72and the Nasdaq composite index increased 0.80% to 4,872.09.

"You can best describe today as a little bit of an easingof the worries," said Michael Antonelli, an institutional equity sales traderand managing director at Robert W. Baird & Co. in Milwaukee.

Antonelli explained that climbing crude oil prices pushed thebroader market higher as worries about global growth were calmed for the day. Thebank group's close ties to the global macroeconomic environment helped push thesector higher on an intraday basis, he added.

However, on the eve of the financial sector's earnings season,the sentiment around the group is largely negative, Antonelli said. He explainedthat banks are still suffering from stifled expectations of Fed rate hikes and alull in capital markets activity so far in 2016.

In the broader U.S. economy, foreclosure inventory fell 23.9%year over year in February, and completed foreclosures declined 10%, according toan April 12 report fromCoreLogic Inc. Completed foreclosures totaled 34,000 in February, down from 38,000in February 2015. The completed foreclosures level has fallen 71.3% from the peakof 117,776 in September 2010, according to CoreLogic.

All four of the nation's largest banks saw their stock pricesincrease. Citigroup Inc.rose 1.90% to $41.90, Wells Fargo& Co. gained 1.57% to $47.77, JPMorganChase & Co. increased 1.86% to $59.28 and Bank of America Corp. went up 2.31% to $13.27.

Little Rock, Ark.-based Bankof the Ozarks Inc.'s stock fell 1.55% to $41.26 after the company reportedits first-quarter earningsafter markets closed April 11. The bank reported its first-quarter net income availableto common stockholders of $51.7 million, or 57 cents per share, compared to $39.9million, or 47 cents per diluted share, for the same period in 2015.

Birmingham, Ala.-based NationalCommerce Corp.'s stock rose 0.93% to $23.85 after the bank a shelf registration statementApril 11 for the sale of up to $100 million of various securities from time to time.

Among other notable movers, Sioux Falls, S.D.-based increased4.86% to $28.28; New Orleans-based FirstNBC Bank Holding Co. rose 4.13% to $19.42; and San Antonio-based gained 3.40%to $55.41.

In thrifts, Jacksonville, Fla.-based EverBank Financial Corp rose 2.44% to $14.69; Lake Success,N.Y.-based Astoria Financial Corp.went up 0.67% to $15.05; and San Diego-based BofI Holding Inc. gained 1.10% to $22.04.

Market prices and indexvalues are current as of the time of publication and are subject to change.