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Updated with market close information.
NEW YORK (
TheStreet) -- Bank stocks recovered on Wednesday after two days of heavy selling, holding on to most earlier gains after a monetary policy announcement and press conference by
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke.
The winner among U.S. financial names was
Mastercard (MA - Get Report), with shares rising 7% to close at $357.66, after the payments processor reported
third-quarter earnings of $717 million, or $5.63 a share, beating the consensus estimate of $4.82 among analysts polled by Thomson Reuters.
Shares of rival processor
Visa (V - Get Report) rose 2% to close at $91.50.
Following the Fed's improving economic assessment and Bernanke's comments that the central bank was monitoring events in Europe and had the tools to further support the U.S. economy, if needed, the Dow Jones Industrial Average trimmed earlier gains to end the day up over 178 points.
Payroll services firm Automatic Data Processing reported that U.S. companies added 110,000 new jobs in October, slightly better than economists expected, but down from a revised 116,000 new jobs added in September.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel held emergency meetings with the European Union, the International Monetary Fund and other European leaders, leading into Thursday's Group of 20 summit in France, following Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou's announcement on Tuesday that Greece would hold a referendum on Europe's sovereign debt bailout plan.
Several of the largest European banking names were seeing shares climb back from heavy losses over previous trading sessions. Shares of
ING Groep (ING) were up 4% to close at $7.75, while
Deutsche Bank (DB) was up 2% to close at $39.10.
Credit Suisse (CS) declined 1% to close at $26.48, following an 8% decline on Tuesday.
KBW Bank Index (I:BKX) was up more than 3% to close at 39.38, with all 24 index components showing late morning gains of at least 1%.
Large U.S. banks seeing shares rise 5% included
Bank of America (BAC - Get Report), closing at $6.72;
Fifth Third Bancorp (FITB), at $11.83;
Huntington Bancshares (HBAN), at $5.27;
KeyCorp (KEY - Get Report), at $7.15; and
Regions Financial (RF), which closed at $3.88.
Big banks seeing 4% gains on Wednesday included
BB&T (BBT), closing at $23.34;
Bank of New York Mellon (BK), at $20.93;
Commerce Bancshares (CBSH - Get Report), at $38.59;
SunTrust (STI - Get Report), at $19.53; and
State Street (STT), closing at $40.23.