Bank stocks and the broader markets pared their gains Thursday after surging on positive economic news.

The KBW Bank Index fell 0.95%, the Dow Jones industrial average 0.08%, and the Standard & Poor's 500 index 0.31%.

The Commerce Department said Thursday that construction begun on new homes and apartments in August rose 1.5% from the previous month, to 598,000 units. Though this was less than the 600,000 units economists on average had expected, it was the highest total since last November.

The Labor Department said that initial unemployment claims for the week that ended Sept. 12 fell 2% from the preceding week, to 545,000. Economists on average had expected 562,000 claims.

Declining bank stocks included Wells Fargo & Co., off 2.1%; PNC Financial Services Group Inc., 2.7%; U.S. Bancorp, 1.7%; SunTrust Banks Inc., 1.4%; BB&T Corp., 2.1%; Capital One Financial Corp., 2.4%; M&T Bank Corp., 2.4%, and Fifth Third Bancorp, 2%.

Zions Bancorp. fell 5.4% after the Salt Lake City company said that it may sell up to $250 million of stock. It also announced that it would sell five-year notes.

Gainers included JPMorgan Chase & Co., up 0.7%; Bank of America Corp., 2.1%; Marshall & Ilsley Corp., 1.4%, and UCBH Holdings Inc., 4 cents a share, to $1.03.

Citigroup Inc. rose 22 cents, to $4.42 a share, after the New York company launched a $2 billion, five-year note sale.

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