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NEW YORK (
TheStreet) -- Bank stocks gained a bit more steam on Thursday following an increase in estimated second-quarter GDP growth and better-than-expected unemployment numbers.
Morgan Stanley(MS - Get Report) was the clear winner among major financial players, with shares rising 1.3% to close at $25.91.
KBW Bank Index(I:BKX) rose 0.2% to close at 62.59 with all but seven of the 24 index components up for the session. Large banks seeing shares rise close to 1% included
State Street of Boston(STT - Get Report), which closed at $67.22;
KeyCorp(KEY - Get Report) of Cleveland, closing at $11.79; and
Zions Bancorporation(ZION - Get Report) of Salt Lake City, which closed at $28.35.
Dow Jones Industrial Average(^DJI) and
S&P 500(SPX.X) each ended with slight gains, while the
NASDAQ Composite(^IXIC) with a gain of 0.8%. The broad market was boosted by a report in the
Wall Street Journal saying
Vodafone(VOD) had rekindled their discussions over a possible Purchase by Verizon of Vodafone's 45% stake in Verizon Wireless.
Verizon's shares rose 3% to close at $47.82 while Vodafone's American depositary receipts rose 8% to close at $31.79.
The Bureau of Economic Analysis raised its estimate for second-quarter U.S. gross domestic product growth to an annual rate of 2.5%, increasing from the advance estimate of 1.7%, and coming in higher than the consensus estimate of a 2.2% growth rate, among economists polled by Thomson Reuters.
The Labor Department said first-time unemployment claims for the week ended Aug. 24 were down by 6,000 to 331,000. Economists on average expected new claims to come in at 332,000. Continuing claims for the week ended Aug. 17 were down by 14,000 to 2.989 million, coming in above the consensus estimate of 2.98 million.
Another Banner Quarter
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. reported that the U.S. banking industry
earned a record $42.2 billion during the second quarter, increasing from $40.3 billion in the first quarter and $34.4 billion during the second quarter of 2012.
The industry's net interest income declined to $103.7 billion during the second quarter from $104.0 billion the previous quarter and $105.4 billion a year earlier. The industry's second-quarter net interest margin was 3.26%, declining from 3.27% in the second quarter and 3.46% a year earlier.