The KBW Bank Index struggled to enter positive territory Friday, but ended unchanged from Thursday's close of 37.32. The index ended the week up 0.64%.
James Bradshaw, an analyst at Bridge City Capital LLC in Portland, Ore., said investors were continuing to digest the industry's second-quarter results.
"They're trying to dissect the pace of change, and see who the survivors are," Bradshaw said. "It's created quite a bit of volatility in the stocks, but generally there's been a positive tone. There's still bleeding" demonstrated in the earnings reports results, "but the bleeding is not gushing out."
Gainers included U.S. Bancorp, 1.8%, SunTrust Banks Inc., 0.7%, Capital One Financial Corp., 8.1%, Comerica Inc., 2.2%, and Marshall & Ilsley Corp., which rose 18 cents, to $4.81.
Decliners included JPMorgan Chase & Co., 0.6%, Bank of America Corp., 1.4%, Wells Fargo & Co., 3.3%, PNC Financial Services Group Inc., 4.5%, BB&T Corp., 1.6% and Citigroup Inc., which fell 4 cents, to $3.73.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 0.26% and the Standard & Poor's 500 rose 0.3%.
Economists at Wells Fargo Securities wrote in a note Friday that across all industries, earnings have "generally beaten expectations, with cost cutting more than offsetting disappointing news on revenues. The emphasis on cost cutting is evident in the economic data but may be easing a bit."