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Wednesday's Bank Stocks: Stocks higher following White House comments

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Wednesday's Bank Stocks: Stocks higher following White House comments

Bank stocks closed higher at the end of business Wednesday, Jan. 25, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed above 20,000.

Lou Brien, market strategist at DRW Trading Group, thinks that stocks reflected a broad market move today, which can be traced back to yesterday's comments from the White House about infrastructure spending and the revitalization of the pipeline in the Canadian border region.

"I think that after several weeks of sideways movements, those comments from the White House sort of inspired the spirits that rallied the market after the election in November [2016]," said Brien.

At the end of business, the SNL U.S. Bank Index was up 1.83% to 539.04 while the SNL U.S. Thrift Index declined 0.41% to 946.23. The Dow Jones Industrial Average increased 0.78% to 20,068.51, the Nasdaq composite index rose 0.99% to 5,656.34, and the S&P 500 advanced 0.80% to 2,298.37.

On the earnings front, New York Community Bancorp Inc. declined 6.69% to $15.06, after reporting fourth-quarter 2016 net income of $113.7 million, or 23 cents per share. President and CEO Joseph Ficalora said in the company's earnings release that a large deal is still the best path for the company to breach the $50 billion-asset mark after the termination of the company's merger with Astoria Financial Corp.

State Street Corp. lost 3.38% to $77.80, after reporting fourth-quarter 2016 GAAP net income available to common shareholders of $557 million, or $1.43 per share. The decline in stock price comes amid news that BlackRock Inc. is transferring more than $1 trillion in assets under custody and administration from State Street to JPMorgan Chase & Co.

Huntington Bancshares Inc. — which reported fourth-quarter 2016 net income applicable to common shares of $193.4 million, or 18 cents per share — was up 5.81% to $14.02.

BankUnited Inc. gained 3.12% to $37.30, after reporting fourth-quarter 2016 net income of $63.3 million, or 59 cents per share.

On the M&A front, Muncie, Ind.-based First Merchants Corp. agreed to acquire Upper Arlington, Ohio-based Arlington Bank in a deal valued around $75.8 million. First Merchants climbed 2.80% to $37.48.

Banc of California Inc. saw its stock slide 4.78% to $14.95. A lawsuit was filed against the Irvine, Calif.-based company, accusing it of misleading investors and failing to disclose the company's alleged ties to Jason Galanis, who has been charged with market manipulation and several counts of fraud.

In economic news, mortgage applications increased 4% from a week ago on a seasonally adjusted basis for the week ended Jan. 20, the Mortgage Bankers Association reported, citing its latest weekly mortgage application survey.

The Federal Housing Finance Agency's latest monthly house price index showed that house prices in the U.S. rose 0.5% month over month in November 2016, on a seasonally adjusted basis.

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