The KBW Bank Index rose 0.61% Tuesday, building on gains from the day before.
"We had some momentum yesterday as Goldman Sachs upgraded a number of large-cap names, and there's been a few upgrades this morning by other firms that ha[ve] provided additional momentum to some of the financials," said Frank Barkocy, the director of research at Mendon Capital Advisors.
Bank stocks also were also buoyed by strength in the broader markets, particularly in energy stocks, Barkocy said. Both the Dow Jones industrial average and the Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 1.37%.
Bank gainers included JPMorgan Chase & Co., up 2.5%; Bank of America Corp., 0.2%; Wells Fargo & Co., 2%; U.S. Bancorp, 1.9%; SunTrust Banks Inc., 1.8%; Capital One Financial Corp., 0.1%; Zions Bancorp., 1.3%, and Fifth Third Bancorp, 4.1%.
Citigroup Inc. remained unchanged from Monday's close of $4.67 a share.
Decliners included PNC Financial Services Group Inc., off 1.1%; BB&T Corp., 1.1%; Comerica Inc., 0.5%, and Regions Financial Corp., 1%.
Marshall & Ilsley Corp. fell 3%, after the Milwaukee company said that it expects to post a higher-than-expected third-quarter loss because of a $185 million charge related to loans made to smaller banks.