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Monday's Bank Stocks: Churning ahead of earnings

Marketschurned in anticipation of first-quarter earnings season Monday, April 11.

The SNLU.S. Bank Index climbed 0.65% to 372.25 and the SNL U.S. Thrift Index rose 0.55%to 773.60. The Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 0.12% to 17,556.41, the S&P500 declined 0.27% to 2,041.99 and the Nasdaq composite index dropped 0.36% to 4,833.40.

The marketseemed to churn as investors waited for the unofficial start of earnings season,exiting "loved" industries and rotating into "unloved" ones,said Alan Gayle, director of asset allocation and senior investment strategist atRidgeWorth Capital Management. He attributed the positive momentum that the indexesenjoyed for most of the day to investors' hope that continued accommodative monetarypolicies both domestically and abroad will resuscitate beleaguered growth, evenas they also increasingly question the efficacy of monetary stimulus.

"Iwould say it's a quiet, gently churning market. There's no macro news to drive eventstoday but we'll start getting more interesting and important data as the week unfolds,"he said.

Sharesof Wells Fargo & Co.slipped 0.08% to $47.03. The company announcedthat Wells Fargo Bank NAreached an agreement with U.S. authorities, including the Justice Department, tosettle civil mortgagefraud claims against the bank and an executive, Kurt Lofrano, over the bank's participationin the Federal Housing Administration's direct endorsement lender program, as in principle.Besides agreeing to pay $1.2 billion, Wells Fargo Bank admitted, acknowledged andaccepted responsibility for certifying to the Department of Housing and Urban Developmentthat certain residential home mortgage loans were eligible for FHA insurance whenin fact they were not, from May 2001 through December 2008.

added 0.80%to $58.20, Bank of America Corp.rose 0.70% to $12.97 and CitigroupInc. climbed 1.61% to $41.12.

New Orleans-basedFirst NBC Bank Holding Co.received a notice fromthe Nasdaq Stock Market informing the company that it was not in compliance withNasdaq listing rules because it had not timely filed its annual report on Form 10-Kfor the year ended Dec. 31, 2015. The delay is due to accounting errors the companymade that have rendered the consolidated and interim financial statements as ofand for the years ended December 31, 2014, 2013, 2012 and 2011 as unreliable, andthe bank will restate them. Shares fell 2.46% to $18.65.

SunTrustRobinson Humphrey analyst Michael Young initiatedcoverage of Stuart, Fla.-based SeacoastBanking Corp. of Florida, with a "neutral" rating, and a 12-monthprice target of $17. The analyst is "positively biased" on the stock ashe believes that the company's profitability will come closer to its peers in thenear term through additional scale and cost cuts. He also thinks that private equityand activist shareholders might pursue alternative options to realize shareholdervalue in case improvement falters. In his research note, he noted that in case ofan M&A transaction, the company would possibly garner a bid of approximately2.0x tangible book value or $20 per share. Shares in the bank slipped 0.06% to $15.96.

added3.02% to $36.21; Little Rock, Ark.-based Bankof the Ozarks Inc. increased 2.87% to $41.91; and Houston-based expanded1.81% to $44.92. Seattle-based HomeStreetInc. declined 1.40% to $20.44 and Honolulu-based Central Pacific Financial Corp. dropped 0.44% to $20.34.

In thethrift space, Sioux Falls, S.D.-based MetaFinancial Group Inc. jumped 4.16% to $47.03, and San Diego-based gained 2.49% to$21.80. EverBank Financial Corpdropped 0.55% to $14.34.

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