Banking stocks rose with the broader markets Tuesday on some better-than-expected home sales numbers.

The KBW Bank Index rose 0.79%.

Large national banks with lots of consumer exposure led the sector higher after the National Association of Realtors said sales of previously occupied homes fell in February, though slightly less than some analysts were expecting.

In banking news, SunTrust Banks Inc. said it was creating a consumer banking unit and shuffling some of its senior executives in what it called moves to take advantage of growth opportunities. Its shares fell 0.81%.

Rochdale Securities analyst Richard Bove said in a research note that JPMorgan Chase & Co. should get rid of its consumer finance business in light of pending regulatory reform and the division's lackluster long-term growth prospects. Its shares rose 1.92%.

Bank of America Corp. rose 1% and Citigroup Inc. 9 cents a share, to $4.13.

KeyCorp was up 0.65%; U.S. Bancorp, 0.11%; Regions Financial Corp., 1.44%, and Fifth Third Bancorp, 0.22%.

The Dow Jones industrial average gained 0.95%, and the S&P 500 index, 0.72%.

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