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Tuesday's Bank Stocks: Lagging sectors 'catching a bid'

The market and bank stocks were in positive territory Tuesday,July 12, on a day that, one industry observer noted, saw investors buy into thesectors that had been lagging.

The SNL U.S. Thrift Index rose 1.15% to 799.93. The SNL U.S.Bank Index ticked up 1.75% to 394.54.

The Nasdaq composite index was up 0.69% to 5,022.82 while theDow Jones Industrial Average increased 0.66% to 18,347.67 and the S&P 500 jumped0.70% to 2,152.14.

Stabilization in the currency and energy markets are helpingdrive the tailwind, said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at Wunderlich Securities.The market is also seeing a near-term rotation from some of the "safety plays"into underperforming stocks such as financials, technology and health care, he said.

"What had been the leaders this year are now the laggingsectors over the last couple of days, and what have certainly been the losers ofthe year, in terms of sectors, are finally catching a bid today," he said.

Among the big banks, CitigroupInc. rose 2.72% to $43.44 after Venezuelan President Nicolas Madurosaid Monday that Citibank NA is planningto close the government's foreign currency accounts within 30 days,according to a report by Reuters. A separate Reuters report confirmed that Citiwill stop its correspondent banking and servicing for some accounts in Venezuelaafter conducting a periodic risk management review. In other Citi news,Citigroup Global Markets Inc.agreed to pay a $7 millionpenalty to resolve SEC charges related to incomplete blue sheet information.

JPMorgan Chase &Co. CEO Jamie Dimon disclosed in an opinion piece in The New YorkTimes that the company will raisethe minimum pay for 18,000 employees over the next three years. The bank tickedup 1.49% to $63.20.

Meanwhile, Bank ofAmerica Corp. jumped 2.50% to $13.54, and Wells Fargo & Co. inched forward 0.56% to $48.35.

In economic news, the U.S. Commerce Department's Census Bureaureported that May 2016 adjusted sales of merchant wholesalers were $435.5 billion,up 0.5% from the revised April level, but down 2.5% from the May 2015 level.

Among notable movers, Nashville, Tenn.-based rose 4.88%to $52.69, while Lafayette, La.-based IBERIABANKCorp. increased 3.84% to $62.49. Sandusky, Ohio-based fell 1.33%to $14.08.

In thrifts, Westbury, N.Y.-based New York Community Bancorp Inc. moved up 1.35% to $15.05and Astoria Financial Corp.climbed 1.26% to $15.29.

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