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Friday's Bank Stocks: Broad market optimism ahead

Bank stocks finished lower while thrift stocks finished higherFriday July 15.

The SNL U.S. Bank Index fell 0.34 % to 398.68 and the SNL U.S. Thrift Index rose 0.23% to 802.71. The broader market indexes finished mixed. The Dow JonesIndustrial Average increased 0.05% to 18,516.55, the S&P 500 fell 0.09% to 2,161.74and the Nasdaq composite index went down 0.09% to 5,029.59.

Wells Fargo senior global equity strategist Scott Wren pointedout that the steady riseof U.S. stocks must stall eventually, but said that he expects equities to movehigher this year amid more investor optimism.

"I don't think this is going to keep going straight up,"Wren said. "I think we're going to see some back and forth, but directionally,fundamentally, I think you're seeing some good things."

He pointed out that U.S. stocks will continue to experience safehaven inflows and that market participants are growing more confident in the economicenvironment. He cited better than expected economic data as signals for investorsthat the economy is "moving slowly in the right direction."

Despite optimism surrounding the broader market, the bank groupneeds an "accelerating economy" and rising interest rates to perform well,Wren added.

Citigroup Inc.'sstock fell 0.27% to $44.33 after the bank reportedadjusted net income to common stock of $3.68 billion, or $1.24 per share, for thesecond quarter of 2016.

Wells Fargo &Co. announcedsecond-quarter net income applicable to common stock of $5.17 billion, or $1.01per share, for the second quarter of 2016. The company's stock fell 2.51% to $47.71at the close of Friday's trading day.

Among other large-caps, Bankof America Corp. rose 0.07% to $13.66 and JPMorgan Chase & Co. went up 0.09% to $64.18.

PNC Financial ServicesGroup Inc. lost 0.97% to $82.06 on Friday after the company earnings. Meanwhile, gained 1.55% to $41.89following the company's July 15 earnings announcement.

In other banking news, Wichita, Kan.-based Equity Bancshares Inc.'s stock rose 4.84% to $22.94 afterthe company agreed topurchase Harrison, Ark.-based CommunityFirst Bancshares Inc.

Among other notable movers, San Juan, Puerto Rico-based gained 2.47% to $9.53and Boston-based State Street Corp.increased 1.23% to $56.91.

In thrifts, Jacksonville, Fla.-based EverBank Financial Corp fell 0.76% to $15.68. Meanwhile,Provident Financial Services Inc.rose 0.69% to $20.35 and Troy, Mich.-based FlagstarBancorp Inc. went up 0.46% to $26.06.

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