This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

Midwest Banks Lead as Unemployment Drops

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Midwest regional Bank stocks on Friday had a very strong showing, as investors cheered stronger-than-expected November employment numbers.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 1.3%, while the S&P 500 added 1.1% and the NASDAQ Composite  rose 0.7% after the Department of Labor announced that the U.S. unemployment rate for November improved to 7.0% from 7.3% in October.  Economists polled by Reuters on average had estimated the unemployment rate would only improve slightly, to 7.2%.

The Labor Department also said the U.S. economy had added 203,000 nonfarm jobs during November, coming in ahead of the consensus estimate of 182,000.

The November unemployment rate is the lowest in five years.  Here's the unemployment picture over the last decade:



The Labor Department also revised revised previous nonfarm job-growth numbers upward, to 174,000 from 153,000 for September and to 204,000 from 200,000 for October.

The KBW Bank Index (I:BKX) rose 1.4% to 67.41, with all 24 index component showing gains.  U.S. Bancorp (USB) of Minneapolis was the leader among large-cap banks, with shares rising 2.7% to close at $39.65.  Other major Midwest players showing strong gains included Fifth Third Bancorp (FITB) of Cincinnati, which was up 2.6% to $20.34, and Huntington Bancshares (HBAN) of Columbus, Ohio, which rose 2.6% to $9.24.

All eyes this week were on the Friday unemployment figure, however, there's been plenty of other good news this week.  The Bureau of Economic Statistics on Thursday made a major upward revision of its estimate for third-quarter U.S. gross domestic product growth to an annual rate of 3.6% from the previous estimate of 2.8%. 

1 of 3

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

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.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

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.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
DOW 17,108.73 +22.10 0.13%
S&P 500 1,988.22 +1.21 0.06%
NASDAQ 4,481.9880 +8.2910 0.19%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs