Bank stocks were down slightly Wednesday as the Federal Reserve forecast a modest economic rebound marked by high unemployment.
The KBW Bank Index fell 0.01%, to 45.99.
Financial stocks were soft after the release of the minutes from last month's Federal Open Market Committee meeting, when officials projected that unemployment would hover at 9.5% to 9.7% through 2010 even as the economy grows by a projected 2.8% to $3.5%.
It wasn't all bad news, though. The Fed said the economic recovery seems to be taking hold and that unemployment would inch lower next year. Separately, the Commerce Department said construction of homes and apartments grew more than expected in January.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 0.39%, and the S&P 500 index 0.55%.
Gainers for the day included Bank of America Corp., up 3.3%; Capital One Financial Corp., 0.3%; Northern Trust Corp., 1.67%, and Citigroup Inc., 10 cents a share, to $3.41.
JPMorgan Chase & Co. fell 0.07%; Wells Fargo & Co., 0.22%; U.S. Bancorp., 0.54%; Fifth Third Bancorp, 0.25%, and State Street Corp., 1.39%.