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Thursday's Bank Stocks: Banks notch gains amid big bank earnings

Bankstocks added gains as the early portion of first-quarter earnings continued Thursday,April 14 as broader markets were mixed by the close of trading.

The SNLU.S. Bank Index gained 0.84% to 395.97 and the SNL U.S. Thrift Index slid 0.26%to 791.46.

and headlined bankearnings reporters, with BofA shares adding 2.54% to $14.14 after the company reportedfirst-quarter net income applicable to common stockholders of $2.22 billion, or21 cents per share, compared to $2.72 billion, or 25 cents per share, for the sameperiod in 2015. Company executives said that they expect reserve releasesin other parts of the company's portfolio will offset increases due to weaknesses in the energy industry.

Wells,on the other hand, saw shares slide 0.49% to $48.79. The company said first-quarter net income applicableto common stock was $5.09 billion, or 99 cents per share, and total revenue of $22.20billion. For the year-ago period, the company reported net income applicable tocommon stock of $5.46 billion, or $1.04 per share, and total revenue of $21.28 billion.While the company's revenue was typically strong during the quarter, it is seeingincreased stress in its energy portfolioand net interest margin challenges.

Amongother large-cap banks, JPMorgan Chase& Co. rose 1.29% to $62.59, U.S.Bancorp climbed 0.44% to $41.28 and Bank of New York Mellon Corp. was up 0.74% to $38.06 at theclose of trading.

Pittsburgh-basedPNC Financial Services Group Inc.announced that first-quarter 2016 net income attributable to diluted common shareswas $850 million, or $1.68 per share, compared to $926 million, or $1.75 per share,in the first quarter of 2015. Shares in thecompany slid 0.56% to $84.69.

San Francisco-basedFirst Republic Bank first-quarter net incomeavailable to common shareholders of $132.4 million, or 88 cents per share. It was$102.0 million, or 71 cents per share, in the first quarter of 2015.

The company'sshares closed at $69.88, up 3.53%.

Broadermarkets were mixed after economic data reports and incoming earnings. The Dow JonesIndustrial Average edged 0.10% higher to 17,926.43, the S&P 500 advanced 0.02%to 2,082.78 and the Nasdaq composite index shed 0.03% to 4,945.89.

JoelNaroff, the president of Naroff Economic Advisors, said that markets were once againheld back by falling oil prices as equities remain unable to break out on days whenenergy prices decline. "Eventually equity markets will de-link from oil marketsbut for now that de-linking is occurring in fits and starts," Naroff said.

In economicnews, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said that its Consumer Price Index rose just0.1% year-over-year during March after seasonal adjustments. Naroff said that bullishnews for equities probably offset the downward tug of oil prices. Naroff added thatthis data strengthens policymakers at the Federal Reserve who wish to hold off onfurther rate hikes. "Recent data and this report really reinforce that view,"Naroff said.

Amongthrifts, New York Community BancorpInc. traded up 0.90% to $15.66, and TFS Financial Corp. (MHC) slid 0.06% to $17.73.

In othereconomic news, the U.S. Labor Department said that in the week ending April 9, theadvance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 253,000, a decrease of13,000 from the previous week's revised level. The previous week's level was reviseddown by 1,000 from 267,000 to 266,000. The four-week moving average was 265,000,a decrease of 1,500 from the previous week's revised average. The previous week'saverage was revised down by 250 from 266,750 to 266,500.

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