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Thursday's Bank Stocks: Lower amid jobless claims report

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Thursday's Bank Stocks: Lower amid jobless claims report

Bank stocks reversed Wednesday's and fell alongside the broadermarkets Thursday, April 7.

At the close of the trading day, the SNL U.S. Bank Index wasdown 2.72% to 368.07 and the SNL U.S. Thrift Index had lost 1.85% to 763.87.The Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 0.98% to 17,541.96, the S&P 500slid 1.20% to 2,041.91 and the Nasdaq composite index lost 1.47% to 4,848.37.

"Over the course of the last six weeks, since theFebruary 11th low, this has been a cyclical kind of market and I think that'sthe pattern," said Wells Fargo senior global equity strategist Scott Wren."It's going to be more of a risk-on kind of market as we look forward."

Wren explained that bank stocks are still facing the realityof no interest rate spread and expectations that the Fed will raise interestrates slowly. "You're not likely to see big surprises in terms ofearnings," he added. "I don't think there are going to be thingshappening in the macro environment that are going to drive the financialsector's earnings higher in a surprising way."

In the broader U.S. economy, the advance figure forseasonally adjusted initial jobless claims was 267,000 for the week ended April2, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. That compares to the previousweek's unrevised level of 276,000. This week marks 57 consecutive weeks ofinitial claims under the 300,000 level, the longest streak since 1973. ABloomberg surveyof economists forecast a median level of 270,000 claims.

Among large-cap banks, Wells Fargo & Co. slid 2.39% to $46.93, fell 3.17%to $12.85 and JPMorgan Chase &Co. dropped 2.53% to $57.32.

CitigroupInc.'s stock tumbled 3.80% to $40.27. The bank its compensation practices inan April 7 proxy form in the wake of proxy advisory firms urging shareholdersto vote against the bank's say-on-pay proposal.

Irvine, Calif.-based Banc of California Inc. on April 6 that it agreed tosell 100% of its membership in Los Angeles-based to PalisadesHoldings I LLC. Banc of California's stock fell 1.15% to $17.15 on Thursday.

Billings, Mont.-based First Interstate BancSystem Inc. saw its stock decrease1.45% to $27.21 amid news that its unit, First Interstate Bank, will buy for$34.2 million in cash.

Dallas-based Hilltop Holdings Inc. lost 1.47% to $18.15; San Juan,Puerto Rico-based OFGBancorp decreased 1.53% to $6.43; San Juan-based tumbled 6.25% to $2.55;and Wyomissing, Pa.-based Customers Bancorp Inc. slid 4.81% to $22.34.

Among thrifts, Westbury, N.Y.-based declined 3.00% to $14.89; Cleveland-based TFS Financial Corp. (MHC) decreased 0.75% to $17.11; andShort Hills, N.J.-based InvestorsBancorp Inc. dropped 2.53% to $11.19.

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