Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke will continue his series of lectures to students. Meanwhile FOMC voting member Daniel Tarullo will speak on regulatory reform before the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs. According to prepared remarks, Tarullo will call for greater attention to the international impact of the Volcker rule. "U.S. regulators will need to carefully consider the concerns that have been raised and the broader international implications of the Volcker Rule as we work to finalize our implementing rules," said Tarullo, in his testimony. The Volcker rule, which has been designed to limit firms from making risky bets with their own capital, has been criticized for being highly complex in its current form, with potentially severe consequences to the liquidity of certain markets. While banks such as JPMorgan Chase (JPM - Get Report) and Goldman Sachs which have considerable capital markets operations have the most to lose, international governments in U.K. and Canada have also objected to the rule because it exempts proprietary trading in U.S. sovereign debt but not in other foreign sovereign debt.
Thursday also brings economic data that could move bank stocks including jobless claims and the FHFA House Price Index. Jobs data has been improving, which is positive for banks. However, banks themselves continue to layoff employees as they struggle to generate revenue in a post-regulatory environment. Bank of America (BAC - Get Report) continues to cut jobs, with recent reports pointing to several layoffs in its equities research and trading divisions.