Bank of America and other stock prices brought current in this update
NEW YORK (
Bank of America
was among several U.S. bank stocks turning positive late Thursday after President Obama delivered his message of financial reform directly to voters in New York.
delivered a speech Thursday at Manhattan's Cooper Union college, urging Wall Street firms to work with him in a "common-sense" approach to overhauling financial reform, as passage of a bill has stalled amid bipartisan bickering on Capitol Hill.
"Until this progress is felt not just on Wall Street but Main Street we cannot be satisfied,"
said in his remarks. "That means addressing some of the underlying problems that led to this turmoil and devastation in the first place."
Obama also lashed out at critics who argue that reform would encourage future taxpayer bailouts of firms. "A vote for reform is a vote to put a stop to taxpayer-funded bailouts. That's the truth," the president said.
Most bank stocks had traded lower as the President spoke, although some have turned higher as the broader market has retraced early losses. Bank of America was lately up 0.8% to $18.43,
was up 0.6% to $31.87, and
was flat at $158.87, having traded lower for most of the day.
Among declining U.S. bank stocks,
declined 2.2% to $44.36, and
lost 1.2% to $4.87.
was also trading higher, rising 1.7% to $33.57, after Rochdale Securities analyst Dick Bove upgraded the stock to neutral from sell following its first-quarter earnings report. Bove said it it appears that Wells Fargo has solved its capital problem, although he added that "It has not solved its earning problems beyond its successful hedging strategies."
In addition, FBR Capital Markets analyst Paul Miller raised his price target for Wells Fargo to $31 from $26, although he kept his market perform rating and said the bank's lower credit costs were offset by revenue pressures.
In company-specific news, AXA Private Equity, a European private-equity firm, acquired a $1.9 billion portfolio of limited partnership interests in private-equity funds from
Bank of America
. Terms of the purchase weren't disclosed, but AXA said the deal involves a high-quality, mature buyout funds portfolio.
Several banks were also out with earnings Thursday.
posted first-quarter earnings of 27 cents a share, which was above the average target of 23 cents a share. Net charge-offs in the quarter were at 1.84%, while the provision for credit losses totaled $575 million. The stock slumped 3.5% to $33.90.
Fifth Third Bancorp
traded in opposite directions after release quarterly numbers.
Fifth Third slumped 2% to $14.85 even after the regional bank posted a loss of 9 cents a share in the first quarter, compared to analyst forecasts it would lose 18 cents a share.
Meanwhile, PNC shares rose 4.2% to $68.02 after the company said it earned $1.31 a share in the quarter when a charge related to the Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP, payback was stripped out, which was ahead of the average estimate for a profit of 71 cents a share.
dropped 4.9% to $48.24 after the Swiss bank reported first-quarter profit of 2.1 billion Swiss francs ($1.97 billion), which was roughly in line with the estimates of analysts.
-- Written by Robert Holmes in Boston
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