After declines Monday brought on by dismal earnings preannouncements, bank stocks rose tepidly Tuesday.

The KBW Bank Index closed up 1.36%. Frank Barkocy, the director of research at Mendon Capital Advisors Corp., said in an interview Tuesday that investors probably weighed Monday's preannouncements of bigger fourth-quarter credit losses by banking companies like Synovus Financial Corp. in Columbus, Ga., against the expected passage of the latest economic stimulus plan and all the initiatives that the Treasury Department has begun, including purchases of mortgage-backed securities.

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