Bloomberg News

JPMorgan Leads Bank Stocks Higher After Increasing Dividend

March 13, 2012

JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) led bank stocks to their best gain since November after the company, the largest U.S. lender by assets, raised its dividend and said it would buy back more shares.

JPMorgan advanced 6.9 percent to $43.34 as of 3:33 p.m. in New York. Citigroup Inc. (C) added 6.7 percent, while Wells Fargo & Co. (WFC), Bank of America Corp. (BAC), KeyCorp and Zions Bancorporation each rose more than 5 percent. The 24-company KBW Bank Index (BKX) surged as much as 4.7 percent for its best gain since November.

Investors were awaiting public release of Federal Reserve stress tests later this week when New York-based JPMorgan boosted its quarterly dividend 20 percent and authorized a $15 billion share repurchase plan -- enough to buy back about 9.7 percent of the stock outstanding at yesterday’s closing price.

JPMorgan said the Fed told the company it completed its review and “did not object” to the bank’s capital plans.

To contact the reporter on this story: Rick Green in New York at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: David Scheer at

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