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Tuesday's Bank Stocks: Lift after 2 weeks of being oversold

Bank and thrift stocks were in positive territory Tuesday after two weeks of being oversold,one analyst said.

The SNL U.S. Bank Index rose 1.64% to 399.35, and the SNL U.S.Thrift Index increased 0.99% to 787.32. The S&P 500 rose 1.25% to 2,084.39,the Dow Jones Industrial Average increased 1.26% to 17,928.35 and the Nasdaq compositeindex was up 1.26% to 4,809.88.

The financial sector is getting a lift because it was the mostoversold group in the last two weeks, said Art Hogan, chief market strategist atWunderlich Securities. He noted that no news or economic data was driving the marketstoday "but what's changed is the cross currents in commodities and currenciesaren't quite as much of a headwind."

In economic news, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reportedthat the number of job openings was little changed at 5.8 million on the last businessday of March. Hires decreased to 5.3 million, while separations were little changedat 5.0 million. Within separations, the quits rate was 2.1% and the layoffs anddischarges rate was 1.2%.

CoreLogic reportedthat foreclosure inventory in the U.S. was down 23.2% year over year in March, whilecompleted foreclosures fell 14.9%, compared to the year-ago period. Completed foreclosuresamounted to 36,000 in March, compared to 42,000 in the year-ago period, reflectinga 69.7% drop from the peak of 117,782 completions in September 2010.

Among the big banks, WellsFargo & Co. rose 1.06% to $49.40, Citigroup Inc. increased 2.16% to $44.84 and was up 1.36% to$62.04. Bank of America Corp.moved up 2.22% to $14.30.

Bank of New YorkMellon Corp. was up 2.21% to $40.24 after it recently an automatic shelf registration statementto offer and sell 10 million of its common shares from time to time.

Among price movers, Olympia, Wash.-based Heritage Financial Corp. jumped 4.10% to $17.76, while Tulsa,Okla.-based BOK Financial Corp.rose 2.94% to $59.27. Irvine, Calif.-based FirstFoundation Inc. slid 2.84% to $21.88.

In thrifts, Lake Success, N.Y.-based Astoria Financial Corp. rose 1.42% to $15.04, while Westbury,N.Y.-based New York Community BancorpInc. increased 1.57% to $14.87.

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