Banking stocks edged higher Monday as investors continued to absorb last week's positive jobs report and merger activity boded well for the sector.

The KBW Bank Index rose 0.16%.

Banking shares continued the Friday rally that was stimulated by news that the economy had shed fewer jobs than expected in February. Financial stocks rose across the board as American International Group Inc. agreed to sell its American Life Insurance Co. subsidiary to MetLife Inc.

Among banking companies, Bank of America Corp. rose 0.24%; BB&T Corp., 0.63%; KeyCorp, 0.28%; Regions Financial Corp., 2.05%, and SunTrust Banks Inc., 2.31%.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 0.13%, and the S&P 500 index, 0.02%.

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