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Monday's Bank Stocks: As tensions ease, so does pressure on stocks

Domestic equities stayed firmly in positive space Monday, Aug. 14., as investors breathed a sigh of relief at lessening geopolitical tensions.

The SNL U.S. Bank Index increased 1.85% to 548.83 and the SNL U.S. Thrift Index hiked up 2.09% to 886.40. The Dow Jones Industrial Average expanded 0.62% to 21,993.71, the S&P 500 improved 1.00% to 2,465.84 and the Nasdaq Composite Index climbed 1.34% to 6,340.23.

Geopolitical tensions between the United States and North Korea seemed to ease Monday as news broke that diplomats and U.S. officials were working to de-escalate them. Investors took the opportunity to recover from last week's selloff with a clear upward push, said Peter Jankovskis, co-chief investment officer at OakBrook Investments.

In banking, shares of Winter Haven, Fla.-based CenterState Banks Inc. jumped 4.55% to $25.02 after the company announced that it agreed to acquire HCBF Holding Co. Inc. and Sunshine Bancorp Inc. The two deals will help the company cross $10 billion in assets following their close.

Sunshine's stock saw a decline of 4.41% to $21.68 around the same time. Its all-stock sale agreement values the company at $21.30 per share and $176.7 million in aggregate, based on CenterState's Aug. 11 closing price. The HCBF Holding deal is valued at $18.08 per share and $416.7 million in total.

Bank of America Corp. grew 2.35% to $24.42, JPMorgan Chase & Co. increased 1.17% to $92.49, Wells Fargo & Co. rose 1.73% to $52.84 and Citigroup Inc. gained 1.63% to $67.89.

Live Oak Bancshares Inc. closed its common stock offering for 4.5 million of its voting common shares and recorded net proceeds of roughly $98.3 million. Shares rose 1.95% to $23.50.

Gaylon Lawrence Jr. disclosed a 6.2% stake in Nashville, Tenn.-based CapStar Financial Holdings Inc., according to a recent ownership filing. Shares increased 1.94% to $16.81.

International Bancshares Corp. rocketed up 4.70% to $36.75 and Ameris Bancorp expanded 4.28% to $45.10. American National Bankshares Inc. dropped 2.31% to $35.90 and Howard Bancorp Inc. lost 1.17% to $16.85.

In the thrift space, Astoria Financial Corp. improved 3.01% to $19.82 and Provident Financial Services Inc. added 2.82% to $25.13.

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