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Midday Thursday: Stocks remain in negative territory

From Wednesday's negative close, U.S. bank and thrift stocks were down around noon on Thursday, Dec. 22, amid the latest economic news.

The SNL U.S. Bank Index was down 0.33% to 537.15 and the SNL U.S. Thrift Index decreased 0.31% to 963.40.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average retreated 0.26% to 19,889.65, the S&P 500 declined 0.37% to 2,256.90 and the Nasdaq composite index slid 0.67% to 5,434.80.

Among the nation's biggest banks, JPMorgan Chase & Co. was down 0.32% to $86.47, Bank of America Corp. fell 0.53% to $22.51, Citigroup Inc. lost 0.39% to $60.51, and Wells Fargo & Co. slipped 0.08% to $55.67.

Among thrifts, Astoria Financial Corp. declined 1.56% to $18.64 around midday, while New York Community Bancorp Inc. was down 0.43% to $15.86. Following the termination of Astoria's deal with New York Community, Fitch Ratings affirmed Astoria's ratings, removed them from rating watch positive and assigned a stable outlook.

In domestic economic news, real gross domestic product increased at an annual rate of 3.5% in the third quarter of 2016, according to the "third" estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the second quarter, real GDP increased 1.4%.

The Federal Housing Finance Agency's latest monthly house price index showed house prices in the U.S. inched up 0.4% month over month in October on a seasonally adjusted basis.

In the week ending Dec. 17, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial jobless claims was 275,000, an increase of 21,000 from the previous week's unrevised level of 254,000. The 4-week moving average was 263,750, an increase of 6,000 from the previous week's unrevised average of 257,750.

Citing the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey, Freddie Mac reported that the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.30% with an average 0.5 point for the week ending Dec. 22, up from the previous week when it averaged 4.16%. The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.52% with an average 0.5 point, up from last week when it averaged 3.37%.

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