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Wednesday's Bank Stocks: US in a 'rather politically volatile' environment


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Wednesday's Bank Stocks: US in a 'rather politically volatile' environment

Bank and thriftstocks were down by the end of business Wednesday, July 13. The SNLU.S. Bank Index slid 0.16% to 393.93, and the SNL U.S. Thrift Index slipped 0.41%to 796.69.

The broader markets were mixed, with the Dow Jones IndustrialAverage advancing 0.13% to 18,372.12, the S&P 500 increasing 0.01% to 2,152.43and the Nasdaq composite index slipping 0.34% to 5,005.73.

Patrick Sims, managing director at Hamilton Place Strategies,thinks the market is performing fairly well in light of global challenges. In hisview, the fundamentals of the U.S. economy are currently "fantastic.""Generally, you have to follow the trends," said Sims. "I think thetrend is pretty promising; the unemployment rate is coming down and wages are slowlypicking up," he added.

"There is lots of bad news globally, I think its weatheringthe storms pretty well here in the United States," Sims said, while commentingon the impact of global news on the domestic economy. He added that the U.S. itselfis in a "rather politically volatile" place at the moment, in light ofthe upcoming political elections.

"Once we get more clarity around Brexit, once we get moreclarity around the presidential election, once we get more clarity around interestrate hikes, I think that investors are going to be pretty much day-to-day, but havea sense of optimism in the United States. Because, I think that the dynamics inthe economy are fairly good except for the lack of clarity that comes with politicalvolatility," he added.

Among large-cap banks, JPMorganChase & Co. dipped 0.06% to $63.16, Wells Fargo & Co. went down 0.17% to $48.27, decreased 0.74%to $13.44 and Citigroup Inc.slid 0.25% to $43.33.

Hampton Roads BanksharesInc. rose 0.54% to $1.85, following news that the Federal Reserve Bankof Richmond approved thepending deal between the company and Richmond, Va.-based Xenith Bankshares Inc. Xenith increased 3.78% to $8.23.

First FinancialNorthwest Inc. gained 2.67% to $13.85. The Renton, Wash.-based companydisclosed a plan to buyup to $40.0 million in aggregate value of its common stock at a price per sharenot less than $13.00 and not greater than $14.00.

In the thrift space, Toms River, N.J.-based declined 2.19%to $18.33, following news that the Toms River, N.J.-based company has agreed toacquire Ocean City, N.J.-based OceanShore Holding Co. in a deal valued at $22.47 per share, or . Ocean Shore jumped26.10% to $21.38.

Westbury, Westbury, N.Y.-based New York Community Bancorp Inc. slipped 1.13% to $14.88;San Diego-based BofI Holding Inc.dropped 7.63% to $17.07; Lake Success, N.Y.-based Astoria Financial Corp. slipped 1.11% to $15.12; and Cleveland-basedTFS Financial Corp. (MHC)decreased 0.22% to $17.81.

In economic news, the Mortgage Bankers Association reported thatmortgage applicationswere up 7.2% week over week on a seasonally adjusted basis for the week ended July8. The market composite index, which measures mortgage application volume, dropped14% on an unadjusted basis compared to the previous week.

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