NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- KeyCorp (KEY) of Cleveland and Huntington Bancshares (HBAN) of Columbus, Ohio, were the losers among the nation's largest banks on Friday, with both stocks seeing 3% declines.
KeyCorp's shares closed at $10.41, while Huntington closed at $7.53. Please see TheStreet's recent coverage for analysts' thoughts on KeyCorp as an interest rate and efficiency play, and Huntington as another solid stock to hold as interest rates rise.
The broad indices all ended with 1% declines, while the the KBW Bank Index (I:BKX) sank 2% to close at 60.16.
Investors are focused on the upcoming meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee on June 18 to 19, which will be followed by an announcement on Federal Reserve stimulus policy. The central bank has kept the short-term federal funds rate in a range of zero to 0.25% since late 2008, and the FOMC has said repeatedly that it would be "appropriate" to keep the federal funds rate in the current range until the U.S. unemployment rate falls below 6.5%, assuming inflation is kept in check.The Federal Reserve has also been expanding its balance sheet through monthly purchases of $85 billion in long-term securities since September, in an effort to hold long-term rates down. The market had anticipated a curtailment of bond-buying by the Fed, sending the yield on 10-Year U.S. Treasury bonds up by 55 basis points from the end of April through Wednesday, when the 10-year was yielding 2.25%. But the 10-year yield has reversed course the past two days, pulling back to 2.13% Friday afternoon. Friday's economic reports did nothing to fuel the fires for a slowing of Federal Reserve stimulus, and indicated little in the way of inflationary pressure. The Federal Reserve reported that the level of U.S. industrial production was unchanged during May, following an upwardly revised decline of 4% during April. Economists polled by Thomson Reuters had expected a 0.2% increase in production during May. Capacity utilization rose to 77.6% in May from a downwardly-revised 77.7% in April. On average expected utilization to rise to 77.9% during May. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the producer price index gained by a greater than expected 0.5% in May after falling 0.7% in April. Economists on average expected the PPI to increase 0.1%. The core PPI held steady at 0.1%, as expected.
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