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Midday Wednesday: Stocks drift lower amid Yellen's testimony

Bank and thrift stocks, along with the broadermarkets, moved lowerin morning trading Wednesday, Sept. 28, amid Federal Reserve Chair JanetYellen's testimony before the House Financial Services Committee.

In her speech, Yellen said the Fed is "" to the annual stress tests it gives U.S. banks, includingreplacing the existing capital conservation buffer with a "risk-sensitive,firm-specific buffer that is sized based on stress test results."

In other news, the Mortgage Bankers Associationreported that mortgage applications were down 0.7% from a week ago on a seasonally adjusted basisfor the week ended Sept. 23.

Around midday, the SNL U.S. Bank Index decreased 0.42%to 409.56 and the SNL U.S. Thrift Index slid 0.42% to 825.76. TheDow Jones Industrial Average lost 0.16% to 18,199.85, the S&P 500 retreated0.34% to 2,152.65 and the Nasdaq composite index fell 0.36% to 5,286.68.

WellsFargo & Co. slipped 0.13% to $45.03 around midday. The companydisclosed Tuesday that Chairman and CEO John Stumpf will forfeit about $41million in unvested equity awards. He will also during the independentdirectors' investigation into the company's retail banking sales practices andrelated matters, and he will not receive a bonus for 2016.

JPMorganChase & Co. decreased 0.42% to $66.08, went down 0.82% to$15.16 and Citigroup Inc.declined 0.45% to $46.16.

In the thrift space, tumbled 4.46% to$21.87, New York Community BancorpInc. slid 0.72% to $14.40, TFS Financial Corp. (MHC) retreated 0.36% to $17.84 andAstoria FinancialCorp. decreased 0.74% to $14.73.

Marketprices and index values are current as of the time of publication and aresubject to change.