Bank stocks struggled to break out of negative territory Monday as more regional banking companies reported second-quarter earnings.

The KBW Bank Index closed down 0.05%.

"While the money-center banks so far have been posting good numbers, people are starting to look at regionals, to see if credit quality is continuing to deteriorate," said Richard Bookbinder, the managing member of Bookbinder Capital Management LLC.

M&T Bank Corp.'s shares rose 4.9%. The Buffalo company posted better-than-expected core earnings of 79 cents a share, excluding a number of one-time charges. Analysts on average had expected core earnings to be 48 cents a share. Including the charges, M&T earned $40.5 million, or 36 cents a share, after paying preferred dividends. In the second quarter of 2008 it earned $160.3 million, or $1.44 a share.

Other gainers included JPMorgan Chase & Co., 0.2%, U.S. Bancorp, 1.8%, Wells Fargo & Co., 2.1%, PNC Financial Services Group Inc., 1.3% and Comerica Inc., which rose 3%.

Decliners included Bank of America Corp., 5%, SunTrust Banks Inc., 1.2%, Citigroup Inc., which fell 23 cents, to $2.79 and Marshall & Ilsley Corp., which fell 27 cents, to $4.36.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 1.19% and the Standard & Poor's 500 rose 1.14%.

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