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Midday Friday: Broader markets rise as consumer confidence hit a record high

Bank and thrift stocks were mostly down during morning trading Friday, Dec. 9, while the broader markets moved higher.

Around midday, the SNL U.S. Bank Index slid 0.62% to 535.73, while the SNL U.S. Thrift Index dipped 0.08% to 978.15. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.26% to 19,664.99, the S&P 500 tacked on 0.30% to 2,253.02 and the Nasdaq composite index gained 0.41% to 5,439.78.

The preliminary December reading of the University of Michigan consumer sentiment index was 98.0, up from the November reading of 93.8. The median forecast of economists was 94.1, according to Econoday data. Consumer confidence surged to the highest level since the start of 2004. "The surge was largely due to consumers' initial reactions to Trump's surprise victory," Surveys of Consumers Chief Economist Richard Curtin said in a news release. "There were a few exceptions to the early December surge in optimism, mainly among those with a college degree and among residents of the Northeast, although no group has adopted a pessimistic outlook for the economy," he added.

The nation's largest banks were trading lower around noon. JPMorgan Chase & Co. slid 0.67% to $84.55, Bank of America Corp. decreased 0.25% to $22.89, and Citigroup Inc. lost 1.06% to $59.51.

Wells Fargo & Co. retreated 0.95% to $56.74, amid news that ex-Wells employees have sued managers over pressure to open fake accounts alleging that Lefky Mansi, a Los Angeles area president, and Shabnam Ebrahimi, a district manager, explicitly told employees to "make up a business need" to gain access to accounts.

The shareholders of F.N.B. Corp. and Yadkin Financial Corp. approved the previously announced merger of the companies. F.N.B. ticked up 0.37% to $16.31, while Yadkin Financial was trading 0.69% higher at $34.90, around noon.

In other banking news, Lakeland Bancorp Inc. inched up 0.91% to $18.98 amid news that the Oak Ridge, N.J.-based company is selling $50 million of its common stock in an at-the-market offering.

San Antonio-based Cullen/Frost Bankers Inc. filed an automatic shelf registration statement for the sale of various securities from time to time. The company was trading 1.10% lower at $87.41 around midday.

Among notable movers, First NBC Bank Holding Co. jumped 7.10% to $9.05, and Effingham, Ill.-based Midland States Bancorp Inc. gained 1.27% to $34.35. Meanwhile, Fresno, Calif.-based United Security Bancshares dropped 3.97% to $7.25 and American Fork, Utah-based People's Utah Bancorp fell 5.53% to $24.75.

In the thrift space, New York Community Bancorp Inc. edged 1.11% lower to $16.94, and BofI Holding Inc. fell 1.32% to $28.03.

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