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Thursday's Bank Stocks: Waiting for the jobs report 'domino' to fall

Bank stocks fared marginally better than the broader marketsThursday, Oct. 6, as investors await Friday's release of the September jobsreport.   

At close, the SNL U.S. Bank Index jumped 0.31% to 423.86 whilethe SNL U.S. Thrift Index fell 0.28% to 826.83.

In the broader markets, the Dow Jones Industrial averageslipped 0.07% to 18,268.50, the S&P 500 rose 0.05% to 2,160.77 and theNasdaq composite index fell 0.17% to 5,306.85.

Charles Reinhard, managing director and head of portfoliostrategy at MainStay Investments, said the upcoming jobs report will beespecially significant because it falls directly ahead of earnings season. Italso falls ahead of upcoming presidential debates, which Reinhard said couldshape the public's view of the economy heading into the election.

"It's a close election, so we wouldn't be surprised ifit picked up a little bit between now and the election," Reinhard said."With the economy growing and with inflation pretty tame, we're cautiouslyoptimistic."

Reinhard said investors are also preparing for the Dec. 14Federal Open Market Committee meeting, where he said investors now believethere is better than a "50/50" chance of a rate hike.

"Depending upon how tomorrow's domino falls willdetermine the pattern of falling dominoes between now and December,"Reinhard said.

Large-caps advanced for the day. rose 0.42% to$45.18, JPMorgan Chase &Co. increased 0.27% to $67.87, Bank of AmericaCorp. added 0.68% to $16.22 and Citigroup Inc. gained 0.86% to $49.07.

First BanCorp.rose 1.49% to $5.44 and YadkinFinancial Corp. added 1.26% to $26.60. Meanwhile, fell 1.90% to $17.52.

In the thrift space, BSB Bancorp Inc. rose 2.30% to $24.87 and sank 1.93% to$22.39.

In economic news, the advance figure for seasonally adjustedjobless claims for the week ended Oct. 1 was 249,000, down from last week'slevel of 254,000. The four-week moving average was 253,500, compared to theprevious period's 256,000, according to the U.S. Labor Department.

Market prices andindex values are current as of the time of publication and are subject tochange.