Bank stocks edged lower Tuesday as positive economic data lifted the broader markets.

The KBW Bank Index fell 0.81%, to 51.75.

The sector failed to enjoy a bounce after the Conference Board said its consumer confidence index rose in March. Another relatively bright spot was the Standard & Poor's/Case Shiller home price index, which fell modestly in January after dipping sharply a year earlier.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 0.11%, and the S&P 500 index was unchanged.

In banking news, White House economic adviser Paul Volcker said during a public appearance that he was optimistic lawmakers would pass meaningful financial reform this year.

Bank of America Corp. fell 1.55%; JPMorgan Chase & Co., 0.62%; Wells Fargo & Co., 0.84%, and Citigroup Inc., 9 cents a share, to $4.09.

BB&T Corp. was off 0.71%; Fifth Third Bancorp, 0.34%; M&T Bank Corp., 1.47%, and PNC Financial Services Group Inc., 1.31%.

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