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Midday Wednesday: Bank stocks trading lower

Bank and thrift stocks, as well as the broader markets, were trading lower around midday on Wednesday, Dec. 21, following yesterday's positive close.

The SNL U.S. Bank Index was down 0.34% to 538.46, and the SNL Thrift Index fell 0.72% to 966.92. The Dow Jones Industrial Average decreased 0.09% to 19,957.24, the S&P 500 slid 0.14% to 2,267.68 and the Nasdaq composite index was 0.24% lower to 5,470.85.

New York Community Bancorp Inc. lost 4.06% to $16.07 while Astoria Financial Corp. added 3.16% to $18.75, a day after the two New York-based thrifts mutually terminated their merger.

BB&T Corp.'s stock slid 0.63% to $47.35 around noon. The FDIC and the North Carolina Commissioner of Banks issued a consent order to its unit, Branch Banking and Trust Co., over internal control deficiencies related to its Bank Secrecy Act and Anti-Money Laundering compliance program.

The biggest names in the banking scene also headed south. JPMorgan Chase & Co. slipped 0.23% to $86.33, Wells Fargo & Co. lost 0.54% to $55.79, Citigroup Inc. retreated 0.63% to $60.42, and Bank of America Corp. declined 0.44% to $22.61.

Among other notable movers, Banc of California Inc. retreated 1.69% to $17.45, and Texas Capital Bancshares Inc. slid 2.16% to $79.45.

In economic news, total existing-home sales climbed 0.7% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.61 million in November, from a downwardly revised 5.57 million in October. November's sales pace is now the highest since February 2007 and is 15.4% higher than a year ago, according to the National Association of Realtors.

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