Regional bank stocks surged this week on positive outlooks for next year. The Keefe Bruyette & Woods Bank Stock Index ( BKX.X), which tracks the largest 25 U.S. commercial banks, jumped 6% this week to close at $50.92. During the Goldman Sachs Financial Services conference on Tuesday and Wednesday, bank executives focused on capital management, including increasing dividends and stock buybacks, and improved lending conditions, according to a note by Goldman analysts on Wednesday. The government's progress on AIG and Citi likely means that it will focus its attention on regional banks that still hold TARP money early next year. SunTrust shares rose 7.1% this week. Regions Financial ( RF) also rose 6.3% over the past week.
Jackson Hewitt ( JTX) shares surged 80%, relatively speaking, over the last two days after the tax services provider said in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing on Thursday that it had secured funding for the loans by Santa Barbara Tax Products Group. Jackson Hewitt's stock took a nosedive late last year and into January of 2010 after funding for the popular loans fell through. Santa Barbara Tax Products ended up providing 50% of the funding, according to a previous Reuters article.
One final thought for investors: Apparently the E*Trade Financial ( ETFC) baby is coming to the big screen. Fox is creating a family fun adventure movie that will use characters from the popular E*Trade baby commercials, according to the Hollywood Reporter. The article did not say when movie was to be released. -- Written by Laurie Kulikowski in New York. To contact the writer of this article, click here: Laurie Kulikowski. To submit a news tip, send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.