Bank Shares Lead Stock-market Gainers In Early Trade After Fed 'stress Test'

By Mark DeCambre Markets MarketWatch Pulse

Shares of the U.S.'s biggest banks were jumping early Thursday, putting the financial sector on pace to post the best daily gain in about three weeks, according to FactSet data. The Financial Select Sector SPDR ETF was rising 1.7%, led by advances in Regions Financial Corp. , Huntington Bancshares Inc. and Comerica Inc. . Some of the biggest banks passed a test by the Federal Reserve of the industry's ability to withstand market shocks. Yesterday, all 34 banks received a greenlight to pay out money to its shareholders, including dividends and buybacks. Gains in the bank-focused ETF put it on pace to book its best one-day rise since June 9. Bank shares also were getting a lift from rising government bond yields, with the 10-year Treasury note offering 2.29% from 2.1456% at the start of the week. Higher yields are supportive to bank's lending business. Shares of Goldman Sachs Group Inc. were contributing 33 points to the Dow Jones Industrial Average in early trade, but the market under pressure as technology stocks limped lower after Wednesday's rally. The tech-focused Technology Select Sector SPDR ETF was off 1.2%, weighing on the Nasdaq Composite Index , which was down 0.8% in early trade. The S&P 500 index was off 0.3% in early trade.

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