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Monday's Bank Stocks: Investors choose to 'risk-on' in US markets

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Monday's Bank Stocks: Investors choose to 'risk-on' in US markets

Investorsthat were unhappy with the Bank of Japan's decision to hold steady on accommodativepolicies redirected their attention to the U.S. market, pushing up indexes on Monday,May 2.

The SNLU.S. Bank Index rose 0.92% to 410.26, and the SNL U.S. Thrift Index climbed 0.61%to 796.88. The Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced0.66% to 17,891.16, the S&P 500 increased 0.78% to 2,081.43 and the Nasdaq compositeindex rose 0.88% to 4,817.59.

U.S.markets enjoyed a "risk-on" attitude from investors that are still grapplingwith the Bank of Japan's decision to not announce further quantitative easing onApril 28, as well as further reflection of the effectiveness of negative interestrates, said Frank Ingarra Jr., senior vice president and head trader at NorthCoastAsset Management LLC. He said the market movement indicates that investors were"disappointed and upset" as the decision filters around the world.

"Japanis kind of unique in the fact you have the yen going up and the market's going down,"he said. "In the U.S., we had probably more of a better-painted picture — we'rethe best-looking [country for] global growth and earnings are coming in pretty decent,so it seems like people want to go long on the U.S. market."

rose 0.93%to $63.79, Wells Fargo & Co.increased 1.22% to $50.59, CitigroupInc. added 0.86% to $46.68 and Bankof America Corp. climbed 1.44% to $14.77.

Evansville,Ind.-based Old National Bancorpsaw its stock fall 3.58% to $12.92 after it announced it agreed to sell unit ONB Insurance Group Inc., which doesbusiness as Old National Insurance, to Prime Risk Partners. Old National Bancorpexpects to receive approximately $93.0 million in cash and recognize an after-taxgain of about $16 million to $18 million. It reported net income of $26.9 million,or 24 cents per share, for the first quarter.

gained1.95% to $35.63; Jasper, Ind.-based GermanAmerican Bancorp Inc. increased 3.35% to $33.31; and expanded 2.40% to $20.93.Sioux Falls, S.D.-based HF FinancialCorp. ticked down 0.05% to $20.09.

In thethrift space, Burr Ridge, Ill.-based BankFinancialCorp. expanded 2.91% to $12.72 and Flagstar Bancorp Inc. added 1.69% to $24.07. Toms River, N.J.-basedOceanFirst Financial Corp.shrank 2.26% to $19.04, and Defiance, Ohio-based First Defiance Financial Corp. declined 0.25% to $39.48.

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