A drop in consumer confidence briefly caused the KBW Bank Index to dip into negative territory Friday, but it rebounded to close up 0.66% for the day and less than 1% for the week.
Friday's gain came despite news from the Reuters/University of Michigan Surveys of Consumers saying its final index of confidence for August fell to 65.7 from 66.0 in July.
"There was incredible volume in some of the very largest bank stocks, as there was some short covering going on and lots of day trading speculation," said James Bradshaw, an analyst at Bridge City Capital LLC in Portland, Ore.
However, many smaller banks with less liquid stocks did not fare as well, Bradshaw added; their slim trading volume increased the volatility in their stocks.
Gainers included Bank of America Corp., up 0.3%; PNC Financial Services Group Inc., 1.5%; U.S. Bancorp, 0.8%; Citigroup Inc., 3.6%; SunTrust Banks Inc., 3%; Capital One Financial Corp., 0.3%; BB&T Corp. 1.4%, and Zions Bancorp., 3.9%.
JPMorgan Chase & Co., off 1.2%; Wells Fargo & Co., 1.6%, and Valley National Bancorp, 0.6%, were among the decliners.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 0.38%, and the Standard & Poor's 500 index 0.2%.