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Wednesday's Bank Stocks: Sector, 10-year Treasury yields see mild gains

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Wednesday's Bank Stocks: Sector, 10-year Treasury yields see mild gains

Banking sector stocks ticked up slightly May 16 as the broader markets recovered from losses a day earlier.

The S&P 500 added 0.41% to 2,722.46, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.25% to 24,768.93 and the Nasdaq Composite Index increased 0.63% to 7,398.30.

Meanwhile, banking sector stocks ticked up slightly, with the SNL U.S. Bank Index up 0.05% to 633.27 and the SNL U.S. Thrift Index rising 0.75% to 963.78. The sector usually sees gains when yields for 10-year Treasurys go up, as those movements help boost bank profits.

The 10-year yields continued moving higher May 16, rising to 3.10% as of 2:59 p.m. ET, up from the previous close of 3.08%, according to Yahoo Finance. But Andy Brenner, head of international fixed income securities at NatAlliance Securities, said he did not see the significant increase in Treasurys that he had expected, given geopolitical tensions that typically push investors into safe assets like U.S. Treasurys.

A day earlier, North Korea had said it was cancelling talks with South Korea and could pull out of a summit with President Donald Trump, while the potential for a new populist government in Italy drew concerns from investors. The small increase in 10-year yields, Brenner said, is an indication that "the demand for Treasurys is decreasing," potentially limiting how high yields could go.

The Big Four U.S. banks had a mixed day. JPMorgan Chase & Co. rose 0.27% to $113.34, while Wells Fargo & Co. improved 0.53% to $55.04. But Citigroup Inc. slid 1.00% to $71.95, and Bank of America Corp. also posted a decrease, falling 0.51% to $31.06.

Major movers included United Community Financial Corp., which gained 2.44% to $10.50, BFC Financial Corp., which rose 2.71% to $9.09.

S&P Dow Jones Indices and S&P Global Market Intelligence are owned by S&P Global Inc.

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