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Midday Thursday: East West Bancorp shares climb after earnings release

U.S. bank and thrift stocks were trading slightly higher around noon Thursday, Jan. 26, amid the latest jobs and home sales data.

The SNL U.S. Bank Index was up 0.17% to 539.94 and the SNL U.S. Thrift Index increased 0.11% to 947.30. The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 0.15% to 20,098.49, while the Nasdaq composite index slid 0.04% to 5,653.86 and the S&P 500 slipped 0.07% to 2,296.74.

On the earnings front, East West Bancorp Inc. — which reported fourth-quarter 2016 net income of $110.7 million, or 76 cents per share, after market hours on Wednesday saw its stock trading 3.07% higher to $53.13 around midday.

Banc of California Inc. was down 1.34% to $14.75. The company disclosed that under its separation agreement with Steven Sugarman, the former chairman and CEO will still receive his 2016 annual bonus of $1.5 million as well as $2.8 million in additional payouts.

The nation's biggest banks were mostly in positive territory. JPMorgan Chase & Co. added 0.46% to $86.43, Bank of America Corp. increased 0.17% to $23.41, Wells Fargo & Co. was up 0.96% to $57.17, while Citigroup Inc. declined 0.49% to $57.41.

In the thrift space, New York Community Bancorp Inc. slipped 0.03% to $15.06, and BofI Holding Inc. increased 1.19% to $28.05.

In economic news, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial jobless claims was 259,000, in the week ending Jan. 21, an increase of 22,000 from the previous week's revised level of 237,000. The four-week moving average was 245,500, a decrease of 2,000 from the previous week's revised average of 247,500, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

Sales of new single-family houses in December were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 536,000, according to estimates released jointly today by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. This is 10.4% below the revised November rate of 598,000, but is 0.4% below the December 2015 estimate of 538,000.

Freddie Mac, citing the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey, reported that the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.19% with an average of 0.4 point for the week ending Jan. 26, up from the previous week when it averaged 4.09%. The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.40% with an average 0.4 point, up from last week when it averaged 3.34%.

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