Shares of big banks were showing some signs of strength Friday, after an especially volatile week of trading.
For the week, banks performed better compared with other sectors than they had for much of the year, said Frank Barkocy, a banking analyst at Josephthal & Co., and the bigger names enjoyed strong gains Friday. Banks with less market capitalization were "basically mixed," he added.
On Friday, Bank One Corp. was up $1.5265, to $53.75; Citigroup rose $2.1875, to $58,8125; and Republic New York Corp. gained 81.25 cents, to $45.25.
The selloff earlier in the week was expected by some market watchers. The market "was overdue for some correction on the down side," said Charles W. Johnson, head of equity trading at Blaylock & Partners, who noted "huge" price-to-earning multiples on many stocks.
"What you're seeing now is the market is aiming to reconcile stock prices with interest rates and earnings," Mr. Johnson said.
The Standard & Poor's bank index added 0.77%, and the Dow Jones industrial average was off 0.66%. The Nasdaq bank index was up 0.66%, and the S&P 500 fell 0.56%.
Shares of Unionbancal rose $1.25, to $31.4375, after the banking company's parent sold 25 million shares for $750 million. The sale cut Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi Ltd.'s stake to 67%, from 82%.
Unionbancal said the move raises the number of outstanding shares to 43 million, from 21 million.
"We're significantly increasing our market liquidity, making the share more attractive to a wide range of investors," a spokesman said.
Shares of Cullen/Frost Bankers rose 81.25 cents, to $47.3125, after an upgrade to "accumulate" from "neutral" by Merrill Lynch & Co.
The stock is down 17% over the past year, "creating a compelling buying opportunity," said William Katz, a banking analyst with Merrill Lynch.
"We believe investors are overly focused on Cullen/Frost's acute real estate and energy-related credit problems of the past cycle," Mr. Katz said. "They are failing to recognize the improved business mix and reduced credit cycle."