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Tuesday's Bank Stocks: Markets up slightly as investors await Fed decision


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Tuesday's Bank Stocks: Markets up slightly as investors await Fed decision

The major stock indexes ticked up slightly March 20 as investors anticipated a likely interest rate hike from the Federal Open Market Committee.

The FOMC is widely expected to raise the benchmark federal funds rate by 25 basis points, and observers are watching for any signs of faster tightening in 2018 in the committee's March 21 statement or in Jerome Powell's first news conference as Fed chair.

The major U.S. stock indexes rose ahead of the Fed's decision, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average increasing 0.47% to 24,727.27, the S&P 500 gaining 0.15% to 2,716.94 and the Nasdaq Composite Index adding 0.27% to 7,364.30. The increases follow a sell-off March 19 that was sparked by a major drop in Facebook Inc. shares.

The SNL U.S. Bank Index was down 0.24% to 637.83, while the SNL U.S. Thrift Index slid 0.47% to 974.79.

Among the Big Four banks, JPMorgan Chase & Co. improved 0.10% to $114.64, while Citigroup Inc. tacked on 0.30% to $72.92. Bank of America Corp. stayed unchanged at $31.98, while Wells Fargo & Co. dropped 1.05% to $54.90.

Major movers included Byline Bancorp Inc., which surged 4.97% to $24.31, and OFG Bancorp, which lost 2.93% to $11.60.

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