U.S. bank and thrift stocks were down Thursday, Dec. 14, a day after the Federal Reserve announced it is raising its benchmark federal funds rate to a target range of 1.25% to 1.50%.
Though the third rate hike of 2017 was widely expected, bank stocks slid Wednesday. Three additional rate hikes are projected in 2018.
In a Dec. 14 presentation, S&P Global Ratings analysts said that while U.S. banks could benefit from deregulation and a more business-friendly tax code in 2018, the outlook is clouded by concerns over political uncertainty and deteriorating credit quality.
Also on Thursday, the Federal Communications Commission approved a major overhaul to its net neutrality regulations in a 3-2 vote. The controversial decision will subject broadband providers to a transparency rule requiring them to publicly disclose if and when traffic is blocked, throttled or prioritized.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.31% to 24,508.66, the S&P 500 lost 0.41% to 2,652.01 and the Nasdaq Composite Index declined 0.28% to 6,856.53.
Bank of America Corp. decreased 0.42% to $28.72, Citigroup Inc. shrank 1.62% to $73.92, JPMorgan Chase & Co. dropped 0.81% to $104.66 and Wells Fargo & Co. gained 0.19% to $59.51.
Among notable movers, Metropolitan Bank Holding Corp. slumped 5.96% to $43.41, WSFS Financial Corp. lost 2.48% to $47.20, Banner Corp. decreased 2.45% to $54.16 and United Bankshares Inc. fell 2.70% to $34.20.
In economic news, U.S. initial claims for unemployment benefits dropped for the fourth successive week, declining by 11,000 to 225,000 for the week ending Dec. 9 from the previous week's unrevised level of 236,000, according to the Department of Labor.
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