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Midday Thursday: Bank stocks rise as Senate confirms Quarles' nomination

Around midday, U.S. bank and thrift stocks traded higher as the Senate confirmed one of President Donald Trump's Federal Reserve nominees.

On Thursday, Oct. 5, the Senate approved, 65-32, Randal Quarles' nomination as a governor for the Federal Reserve Board. While at his post, many expect Quarles to tackle regulatory issues.

The SNL U.S. Bank Index added 0.63% to 578.53 and the SNL U.S. Thrift Index increased 0.64% to 942.90. The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 0.21% to 22,710.16, the S&P 500 gained 0.31% to 2,545.51 and the Nasdaq Composite Index rose 0.41% to 6,561.55.

The nation's biggest banks were also in positive territory. JPMorgan Chase & Co. was up 0.81% to $96.58, Bank of America Corp. increased 1.07% to $25.98, Wells Fargo & Co. rose 0.96% to $55.50 and Citigroup Inc. added 1.28% to $75.01.

MutualFirst Financial Inc. retreated 0.17% to $39.53. The company is buying Indiana peer Universal Bancorp in a cash-and-stock deal valued at around $65.6 million.

Among notable price gainers, Pacific Premier Bancorp Inc. added 4.06% to $39.12, Banc of California Inc. gained 2.34% to $20.77 and BB&T Corp. climbed 2.33% to $47.45.

In the thrift space, BofI Holding Inc. gained 1.07% to $28.40.

In economic news, jobless claims fell by 12,000 to a seasonally adjusted 260,000 for the week ended Sept. 30, down from the previous week's unrevised level of 272,000, according to the U.S. Labor Department.

And results of Freddie Mac's Primary Mortgage Market Survey that the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage average increased to 3.85% with an average 0.5 point for the week ending Oct. 5, as compared to last week's average of 3.83%. The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage average was also up to 3.15% with an average 0.5 point, from the previous week's average of 3.13%.

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