Financial Stocks Hit Session Highs After Fed Comments

By Ryan VlastelicaMarketsMarketWatch Pulse

Shares of financial companies rose on Wednesday, rising to their highs of the session after the Federal Reserve left interest rates unchanged but said that the weak read in first-quarter GDP was "likely to be transitory." The Financial Select Sector SPDR ETF rose 0.6%. It traded at 0.2% prior to the Fed's announcement. Among specific names, Bank of America Corp. rose 0.4% while Citigroup Inc. added 0.5%. Wells Fargo & Co. climbed 0.9%. Bank stocks are highly correlated to Federal Reserve activity, and tend to outperform in times of rising rates. Higher rates tends to boost bank net interest margins, which can lead to higher profitability.

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