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Midday Thursday: Big 4 banks, broader markets retreat amid latest economic news

The nation's largest banks were trading in the red around midday Thursday, Aug. 10.

Bank of America Corp. lost 1.60% to $24.34. The company will launch its premium rewards card in September, which will have a lower annual fee than JPMorgan Chase & Co.'s Sapphire reserve card, The Wall Street Journal reported. JPMorgan slid 0.99% to $92.60.

Four senators wrote to Wells Fargo & Co. President and CEO Timothy Sloan, questioning him about the auto loan issue that improperly charged customers with insurance premiums they did not need. The company was down 0.75% to $52.40.

Meanwhile, Citigroup Inc. dropped 1.01% to $67.74.

Broader markets also retreated around midday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.43% to 21,954.49, the S&P 500 dropped 0.80% to 2,454.25, and the Nasdaq Composite Index retreated 1.24% to 6,273.63.

The SNL U.S. Bank Index lost 1.36% to 546.38 and the SNL U.S. Thrift Index slid 0.80% to 879.67.

Bank Mutual Corp.'s pending sale of five Wisconsin branches to Marine Credit Union has received regulatory approval. The credit union will also acquire $52.6 million in deposits and $13.2 million in loans related to the deal. Bank Mutual Corp. slid 1.82% to $9.43.

Among the laggards, East West Bancorp Inc. fell 3.52% to $55.07, Comerica Inc. was down 2.72% to $70.50, and Bank of New York Mellon Corp. lost 3.09% to $52.38.

In economic news, the U.S. Department of Labor reported initial claims for unemployment benefits was up by 3,000 to a seasonally adjusted 244,000 for the week ended Aug. 5, compared to the previous week's revised figure of 241,000.

And Freddie Mac's Primary Mortgage Market Survey results showed the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.90% with an average 0.5 point for the week ending Aug. 10, down from the previous week when it averaged 3.93%. This week's 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.18% with an average 0.5 point — the same as last week's average.

In the thrift space, Astoria Financial Corp. retreated 1.75% to $19.12 and BofI Holding Inc. slipped 0.75% to $27.68.

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