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Wednesday's Bank Stocks: 'Markets love this zero interest rate policy'

The markets were up Wednesday, April 6, as investors looked favorablyon the Federal Open Market Committee's meeting minutes, one analyst said.

The SNL U.S. Bank Index increased 0.82% to 378.37, while theSNL U.S. Thrift Index moved up 0.51% to 778.28.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.64% to 17,716.05, whilethe S&P 500 increased 1.05% to 2,066.66 and the Nasdaq composite index jumped1.59% to 4,920.72.

The Fed minutes released Wednesday reveal that the FOMC was debating a rate hike in April.

Kim Forrest, analyst at Fort Pitt Capital, said the minutes indicatethe Fed is "leaning towards easy money."

"Markets love this zero interest rate policy," shesaid. But she noted that bank stocks have been a little "lackluster" recentlyas they have not benefited as much from the low interest rate environment.

Among the bigger banks, WellsFargo & Co. rose 1.20% to $48.08, while Citigroup Inc. moved up 0.84% to $41.86 and was up 0.77% to$58.81. Bank of America Corp.increased 0.61% to $13.27.

In economic news, mortgageapplications in the week ended April 1 rose 2.7% from one week earlieron a seasonally adjusted basis, the Mortgage Bankers Association reported April6, citing the results of its weekly mortgage applications survey. On an unadjustedbasis, the market composite index, which measures mortgage loan application volume,climbed 3% week over week.

Among the biggest movers, Los Angeles-based jumped 3.51% to $28.63while Stuart, Fla.-based Seacoast BankingCorp. of Florida rose 2.47% to $16.16. Plano,Texas-based LegacyTexas FinancialGroup Inc. fell 1.80% to $18.50.

Among thrifts, Westbury, N.Y.-based New York Community Bancorp Inc. was flat at $15.35 whileCleveland-based TFS Financial Corp.(MHC) rose 0.70% to $17.24.

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