NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Most stocks of large-cap U.S. banks ended higher on a strong Thursday for the broad market, with investors cheering a big merger.
The KBW Bank Index (I:BKX) was up 0.2% to 68.52, with 14 of the 24 index components ending with gains. The index is down slightly this year, following two years of very strong recovery, with a 35% gain during 2013 and a 30% gain during 2012. Sector winners included Capital One Financial (COF), which was up 1% to $72.37, and JPMorgan Chase (JPM), which rose 0.9% to close at $58.03. The loser among large-cap U.S. banks on Thursday was Morgan Stanley (MS), with shares sliding 0.8% to close at $19.89.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average
Shares of Comcast were down over 4% to $52.97, while Time Warner Cable was up 7% to close at $134.81.
Comcast's move looks like a big win -- assuming the deal gains regulatory approval -- because it won't leave the combined firm saddled with debt the way so many large buyouts have. Comcast is paying the equivalent of $158.82 a share to acquire Time Warner Cable, trumping a lower bid by Charter Communications (CHTR), which would have come to $132 a share for Time Warner shareholders, while being heavily financed with debt. The debt-free nature of the Comcast/Time Warner Cable deal also means that Wall Street bankers won't see the fee bonanza they would have loved.
But there will be some fees to split. JPMorgan Chase, Paul J. Taubman of PJT Capital and Barclays (BCS) acted as financial advisors for Comcast, while Morgan Stanley, Allen & Co., Citigroup (C) and Centerview Partners were Time Warner's financial advisers.
Judging from Time Warner's closing price -- 15% shy of the estimated deal value of $158.82 a share -- many investors think the deal will face a rough road to regulatory approval.