Banking stocks closed higher Friday after unemployment numbers indicated the economy is headed in the right direction.

The KBW Bank Index rose 1.33%, to 44.80.

Large banks ended a volatile week on a high note after the Labor Department said the unemployment rate had unexpectedly fallen from 10% to 9.7% in January as 20,000 net jobs were lost.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 0.10%, and the S&P 500 index, 0.74%. The large banks generally had a good day.

Bank of America Corp. rose 1.69%; Wells Fargo & Co., 1.33%, and Citigroup Inc., 1.26%.

JPMorgan Chase & Co. closed off 0.13%.

Among the regional banking companies, Zions Bancorp. rose 2.92%; U.S. Bancorp, 1.35%; M&T Bank Corp., 2.87%; BB&T Corp., 2.15%, and Fifth Third Bancorp, 0.45%.

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