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Midday Wednesday: Banks rise ahead of FOMC's meeting announcement

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Midday Wednesday: Banks rise ahead of FOMC's meeting announcement

U.S. bank and thrift stocks were up during morning trading Wednesday, Feb. 1, while the broader markets were mixed, ahead of the Federal Open Market Committee's meeting announcement.

The FOMC's first meeting of 2017 ends today, and its announcement and forecasts are due out at 2 p.m. ET.

In economic news, private sector employment increased by 246,000 jobs in January, according to the latest ADP National Employment Report. The ADP revised the December 2016 total of jobs added down to 151,000 from 153,000.

Mortgage applications decreased 3.2% from a week ago on a seasonally adjusted basis for the week ended Jan. 27, the Mortgage Bankers Association reported, citing its latest weekly mortgage application survey.

The SNL U.S. Bank index ticked up 0.93% to 534.59, and the SNL U.S. Thrift index advanced 0.09% to 939.69. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 0.03% to 19,857.19, the S&P 500 was down 0.22% to 2,273.87 and the Nasdaq composite index added 0.19% to 5,625.88.

In banking news, Wilmington, Del.-based Bancorp Bank reported a 2016 net loss of approximately $84.2 million in its most recent call report, compared to the year-to-date net loss of $67.7 million as of Sept. 30, 2016, ahead of The Bancorp Inc.'s fourth-quarter 2016 earnings release. The Bancorp fell 11.77% to $5.28 during morning trading.

JPMorgan Chase & Co. was up 0.78% to $85.29, Bank of America Corp. gained 1.61% to $23.01, and Citigroup Inc. rose 0.75% to $56.25.

Wells Fargo & Co. advanced 0.50% to $56.23. Rules imposed by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency to exert more control at Wells Fargo are keeping the bank from paying severance to laid-off employees who were not part of the unauthorized-accounts scandal, The New York Times reported Jan. 31.

Among notable movers, Southern Pines, N.C.-based First Bancorp gained 2.84% to $30.10; and Worthington, Ohio-based Central Federal Corp. lost 6.91% to $2.12.

Among thrifts, New York Community Bancorp Inc. declined 1.02% to $15.03; while BofI Holding Inc. gained 0.51% to $29.65.

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