Bank stocks soared on news of the Federal Reserve Board's latest cut in the discount rate to 3% from 3.5%, but the stock market overall slumped on investor worries about weak employment data.
California banks grabbed the biggest gains. BankAmerica Corp. rose $1.625, to $146.375, and Wells Fargo & Co. climbed $1.625, to $75.75, while First Interstate Bancorp added $1, reaching $42.375.
Many other bank issues also posted gains of a dollar or more. J.P. Morgan & Co. rose $.125, to $58.375. NationsBank gained $1, at $49.375; Comerica Inc. was up $1, to #61.375, and Boatmen's rose $1, to $51.
The biggest decliner among the top 25 banks was Fifth third Bancorp. The Cincinnati bank was off $1, to $43.50, a day after abandoning its unwelcome effort to acquire rival Star Banc Corp. Star, which plunged after that news on Wednesday, was ahead 75 cents, to $32.50.