Bank stocks rose Wednesday amid encouraging economic news on a day that the Federal Reserve left a key interest rate unchanged.
The KBW Bank Index rose 1.14%.
Investors were encouraged by a Commerce Department report that durable goods orders unexpectedly rose 1.8% in May. Economists on average had expected orders to decline.
The market largely ignored another Commerce Department report, saying that new-home sales fell 0.6% in May, to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 342,000. Economists on average had forecast 344,000.
Bank stocks dipped briefly in the afternoon after the Federal Open Market Committee wrapped up its two-day meeting, leaving the federal funds rate between zero and 0.25%. The Fed also said that the pace of economic contraction is slowing and that conditions in the financial markets have generally improved.
"The markets were generally moving up in front of that but then sold off a bit afterward, simply because there was not much news there to provide a reason to buy," said Gary Townsend, the CEO of Hill-Townsend Capital LLC.
Bank of America Corp. rose 1%, Wells Fargo & Co. 1.1%, PNC Financial Services Group Inc. 2.2%, U.S. Bancorp 1.9% and Citigroup Inc. 3 cents, to $3.04 a share.
JPMorgan Chase & Co. fell 0.3%.
Among the regional banking companies, SunTrust Banks Inc. rose 0.5%, BB&T Corp. 0.8%, Capital One Financial Corp. 0.4%, Zions Bancorp. 0.9%, Fifth Third Bancorp 0.7% and Regions Financial Corp. 5 cents a share, to $3.81.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 0.28%, and the Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 0.65%.