A better-than-expected unemployment report lifted bank stocks out of negative territory Thursday.

The KBW Bank Index rose 0.53% after the Labor Department said that initial claims for unemployment benefits in the week ended Sept. 5 had fallen to 550,000. Analysts on average had expected 560,000.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 0.84%, and the Standard & Poor's 500 index 1.04%.

Gainers included JPMorgan Chase & Co., up 0.4%; Bank of America Corp., 1.1%; Wells Fargo & Co., 0.7%; PNC Financial Services Group Inc., 0.1%; SunTrust Banks Inc., 1.3%; Comerica Inc., 2.3%; M&T Bank Corp., 1.4%, and Citigroup Inc., 9 cents a share, to $4.75.

Decliners included U.S. Bancorp, off 0.1%; BB&T Corp., 0.04%; Marshall & Ilsley Corp., 1.4%; Zions Bancorp., 1.5%; Regions Financial Corp., 1.1%, and Fifth Third Bancorp, 1.1%.

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