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Midday Wednesday: Banks down ahead of FOMC announcement

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Midday Wednesday: Banks down ahead of FOMC announcement

Bank and thrift stocks moved lower in morning trading Wednesday, April 27,ahead of the Federal Open Market Committee announcement scheduled for 2 p.m.ET. Around midday, the SNL U.S. Bank Index went down 0.34% to 412.64 and theSNL U.S. Thrift Index slid 0.43% to 798.03.

The broader markets were also in negative territory, withthe Dow Jones Industrial Average retreating 0.18% to 17,957.72, the S&P 500decreasing 0.25% to 2,086.38 and the Nasdaq composite index slipping 0.92% to4,843.48.

In economic news, mortgage applications in the week ended April 22 fell4.1% from the week earlier on a seasonally adjusted basis, the Mortgage BankersAssociation reported. On an unadjusted basis, the market composite index, whichmeasures mortgage loan application volume, fell 3% week over week.

Pending homessales in the U.S. rose 1.4% month over month in March to a readingof 110.5 on the National Association of Realtors' pending home sales index,compared to a downwardly revised 109.0 in February. The March mark was thehighest level recorded since May 2015. Year over year, the index was up 1.4%.

Against this backdrop, JPMorgan Chase & Co. inched down 0.09% to $63.87,Wells Fargo & Co.dipped 0.26% to $50.79, Bank of AmericaCorp. decreased 0.27% to $15.05 and ticked down 0.19% to$47.01.

Among the companies that reported quarterly results today,State Street Corp. sawits stock rise 0.99% to $63.10 around midday. The Boston-based company reportedfirst-quarter netincome available to common shareholders of $319 million, or 79 cents per share,compared to $373 million, or 89 cents per share, in the first quarter of 2015.

The stock of Tulsa, Okla.-based , meanwhile, wentdown 0.79% to $61.27 around noon. The companydisclosed first-quarternet income attributable to shareholders of $42.6 million, or 64 cents pershare, down from $74.8 million, or $1.08 per share, for the first quarter of2015.

SterlingBancorp's stock dropped 3.80% to $16.18. The Montebello, N.Y.-basedcompany said April 26 that its net income for the first quarter was $23.8 million, or18 cents per share, compared to $16.8 million, or 19 cents per share, for thefirst quarter of 2015.

Champaign, Ill.-based First Busey Corp. yesterday reported net income available tocommon stockholders of $10.4 million, or 36 cents per share, compared to $7.6million, or 26 cents per share, for the first quarter of 2015. The company'sstock rose 0.53% to $20.93 around midday today.

FranklinFinancial Network Inc. jumped 10.00% to $30.65. The Franklin,Tenn.-based company reported net income available to common shareholders of$6.2 million, or 56 cents per share, for the first quarter, compared to $3.1million, or 37 cents per share, for the year-ago period.

On the M&A front, Mattoon, Ill.-based andEdwardsville, Ill.-based FirstClover Leaf Financial Corp. have agreed to merge in a valued at $12.87 pershare, or roughly $90 million. First Mid-Illinois increased 0.71% to $25.45 inmorning trading, while First Clover Leaf jumped 22.12% to $11.87.

Among notable movers, Irvine, Calif.-based gained 4.18% to $36.40 andMcKinney, Texas-based IndependentBank Group Inc. rose 3.25% to $36.58. Uniondale, N.Y.-basedFlushing FinancialCorp. fell 4.04% to $20.18 and Hampton Roads Bankshares Inc. dropped 3.37% to $1.72.

In the thrift space, Cleveland-based increased0.11% to $18.21 and San Diego-based BofI Holding Inc. added 0.69% to $19.65.Westbury, N.Y.-based New YorkCommunity Bancorp Inc. slipped 0.75% to $15.32 and Lake Success,N.Y.-based Astoria FinancialCorp. ticked down 0.77% to $15.38.

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