Major bank stocks outperformed the overall market Thursday, as investors braced for Friday's monthly employment report from the government.

The biggest gainer was PNC Financial Corp. Shares of the Pittsburgh company gained $2.375 after it announced a 2-for-1 stock split and increased its pre-split dividend to 57 cents a share from 53 cents.

BankAmerica Corp. was up 37.5 cent, to $43.625, J.P. Morgan & Co. gained 37.5 cents, to 62.625, and Wachovia Corp. rose 87.5 cents, to $60.625. Meanwhile, the Dow was off 17.29 points to 3,254.37.

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