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Monday's Bank Stocks: Citizens drops after it is linked to Manafort indictment

Rhode Island-based Citizens Financial Group Inc.'s shares fell sharply Feb. 26, following an Associated Press report that said the company was one of the lenders listed in an indictment against Paul Manafort, the former campaign manager for President Donald Trump.

Citizens' stock closed the day down 4.07% to $44.54, prompting the company to respond to the AP story in a news release. The company said it is not aware of being subject to "any active investigation associated with the matter in the press article" and emphasized that it has a "robust system of controls and procedures" in place to prevent anti-money laundering and Bank Secrecy Act issues.

Markets, meanwhile, ticked up as investors awaited Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell's first appearance in Congress as the central bank's leader.

The S&P 500 finished the day up 1.18% to 2,779.60, the Nasdaq Composite Index tacked on 1.15% to 7,421.46 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average added 1.58% to 25,709.27.

Powell is due to testify Feb. 27 at the House Financial Services Committee on the Fed's latest monetary policy report, which struck a familiar tone by highlighting a growing economy and the need to continue with gradual interest rate increases. Powell will also head to the Senate on March 1, when he will testify at the Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs.

Fed officials have penciled in three rate hikes for 2018, but not all of them agree the Fed should go that quickly. At a National Association for Business Economics conference, St. Louis Fed President James Bullard cautioned against going "too far, too fast" on hikes, adding that the federal funds rate is currently at an appropriate level.

The Big Four banks finished the day in the green, with Wells Fargo & Co. advancing 1.35% to $59.97; Bank of America Corp. growing 1.22% to $32.42; Citigroup Inc. finishing up 0.74% to $77.65; and JPMorgan Chase & Co. ticking up 1.24% to $118.77.

Meanwhile, Cerritos, Calif.-based First Choice Bancorp announced a roughly $110.4 million deal to acquire Pacific Commerce Bancorp. Los Angeles-based Pacific Commerce increased 9.20% to $10.92.

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