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Friday's Bank Stocks: Industry climbs on jobs report

Following higher-than-expected jobs numbers, bank stocks climbed in trading Aug. 4, as economic signals appear to give the Federal Reserve the green light to continue removing accommodative monetary policy.

The major market indexes all climbed, as the Dow Jones Industrial Average added 0.30% to 22,092.81, the S&P 500 gained 0.19% to 2,476.83 and the Nasdaq composite index increased 0.18% to 6,351.56. The SNL U.S. Bank Index added 0.88% to to 557.88.

The jobs report detailed 209,000 new nonfarm payrolls with the unemployment rate decreasing to 4.3% from 4.4% in June. The increase in nonfarm payrolls beat estimates, giving some reason to speculate that the Fed may feel more comfortable kicking off its balance sheet normalization plan in the fall.

Most of the big banks ended the day in the green at market close. Bank of America Corp. added 2.46% to $24.97, Citigroup Inc. increased 1.25% to $68.98, and JPMorgan Chase & Co. rose 1.25% to $93.66.

Wells Fargo & Co. fell 1.05% to $52.84 as reports surfaced that the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency may be looking at sanctions related to its collateral protection insurance policies on its auto lending business. In a regulatory filing released today, the company said it had increased the high end of its estimate for possible legal losses by more than 50% and disclosed a couple of new regulatory investigations.

Atlanta-based Fidelity Southern Corp. added 3.06% to $21.89, Moorefield, W.Va.-based Summit Financial Group Inc. gained 3.04% to $22.40 and Aurora, Ill.-based Old Second Bancorp Inc. rose 2.98% to $12.10.

Worthington, Ohio-based Central Federal Corp. declined 2.24% to $2.18 and Dubuque, Iowa-based Heartland Financial USA Inc. declined 1.39% to $46.05.

The SNL U.S. Thrift Index ticked up 0.18% to 901.69. New York Community Bancorp Inc. added 0.16% to $12.88. Norwood, Mass.-based Blue Hills Bancorp Inc. increased 2.92% to $19.40 while Plant City, Fla.-based Sunshine Bancorp Inc. fell 2.05% to $22.02.

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