Updated with market close information.
NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- The nation's biggest banks trimmed earlier losses late in Thursday's trading session, as Republican leaders confirmed that the House of Representatives would return to work on Sunday, in an effort to avert the Fiscal Cliff.
The "big four" U.S. banks all recovered from earlier 2% declines. Three of the big four saw 1% declines, including Bank of America , with shares closing at $11.47, Citigroup (C) closing at $39.25 and JPMorgan Chase (JPM), closing at $43.63. Shares of Wells Fargo (WFC) ended the day with a slight decline, closing at $34.18.
The broad indexes all ended with slight declines, recovering from earlier losses. The KBW Bank Index (I:BKX) was down slightly to close at 50.95, with all but seven of the 24 index components showing declines.Speaking on the Senate Floor Thursday morning, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.) was doubtful over the prospect of a happy New Year for taxpayers, saying "I don't know time-wise how it can happen now," and that "Democrats can't put together a plan on their own because, without participation of [Senator Minority] Leader McConnell and Speaker Boehner, nothing can happen on the fiscal cliff." House Speaker John Boehner (R., Ohio), along with House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R., Va.) and Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R., Ca.) released a statement late on Wednesday, reiterating that the ball was in the Senate's court: "The House has acted on two bills which collectively would avert the entire fiscal cliff if enacted. Those bills await action by the Senate. If the Senate will not approve and send them to the president to be signed into law in their current form, they must be amended and returned to the House." Also late on Wednesday, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said in a letter to Reid that the federal government would hit its $16.4 billion debt limit on Dec, 31. Geithner said that the Treasury would be ready to take "extraordinary measures" in order to "create approximately $200 billion in headroom under the debt limit." Later on Thursday, Republican leaders in the House of Representatives said they would return to work on Sunday, and the Wall Street Journal said that the House would hold its first vote at 6:30 p.m. Sunday, citing an unnamed "GOP leadership aide."
Fiscal Cliff Won't Stop Capital Return
The Federal Reserve will begin its next round of annual stress tests in February, and in March will hand down its decisions on whether or not to approve large bank's plans to return capital to investors through dividend increases and share repurchases.
Select the service that is right for you!COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.
- $2.5+ million portfolio
- Large-cap and dividend focus
- Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
- Weekly roundups
Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.
- Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
- Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
- A custom stock screener
- Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.
- Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
- Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
- Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.
- Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
- Intraday commentary & news
- Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.
- 100+ monthly options trading ideas
- Actionable options commentary & news
- Real-time trading community
- Options TV