Yesterday's outpouring of good news across the financial sector spurred the market this morning and the Banking Sector was the first to take off at the opening with regional banks and Small Cap banks posting significant gains.
The broad market financial sector got a huge shot in the arm yesterday, throughout the day and the results drove various industries of the sector up, up, and away this morning.
From Paris, France yesterday, U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said that financial markets were sending, "important signs of recovery" and that new capital had come into the U.S. financial system and there was an improvement in credit spreads and that was playing out in consumer and business confidence.
Then came the news that unemployment claims fell to 584,500, from 607,000, the lowest since January and unemployment has now fallen for three consecutive weeks.
I think that China's stimulus news yesterday was also a propellant. China said its aggressive bank lending sent its economy to a 7.9% growth rate in the second quarter of 2009. Americans never like to 'run' second and I believe that fueled some of the good old trading pit psychology of: 'oh yea...'
With JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM) posting huge trading profits this week, Google (Goog) posting an 18% second quarter rise in net income and IBM (NYSE:IBM) setting out a 2009 profit forecast of at least $9.70 per share, up 50 cents from its $9.20 per share target set in January, the investors and buyers of U.S. stocks just had to pull in some money that has been sitting on the sidelines.
Here's a look at the Dow Jones US Banks Index:
Three Small Cap Banks Take Off
Picking up over 21% (0.59) in early trading, BancTrust Financial Group (BTFG) http://www.banctrustfinancialgroupinc.com/ is now trading on the Nasdaq in the $3.36 range at more than double its 3-Month average daily trading volume of 99,807 shares. Today's market cap for BTFG is in the $59 million range.
BTFG is a regional bank holding company for BankTrust, which provides various traditional financial services to individuals, small businesses, and other organizations in southern Alabama and northwest Florida. BTFG operates 41 bank offices in the southern two-thirds of Alabama and 10 bank offices in northwest Florida.
At $3.36, BTFG is far below its 52-week high of $16.85 set on 09-19-08 and above it's 52-week low of $2.50 set on 07-10-09. Ay $3.36, BTFG is pennies below its 50-day moving average and far below its 200-day moving average of $6.37 (good 'buy' signals).
BTFG has trailing twelve month revenues of $56.60 million and its shares out versus float ratio is near-parity making it very stable.
A 3-MONTH CHART OF BTFG
Also posting a significant gain this morning is another regional bank, First Place Financial (FPFC) http://www.firstplacebank.net/. FPFC picked up over 18% ($0.46) in early trading topping its 3-Month average daily trading volume of 89,093 shares. FPFC is currently trading in the $2.93 range over on the Nasdaq with a new market cap of $48.22 million.
FPFC operates as the holding company for First Place Bank, which provides a range of business and retail banking services to individuals and businesses primarily in Ohio, Michigan, and Indiana. FPFC has 45 retail locations, 2 business financial service centers, and 20 loan production offices.
At $2.93, FPFC is far below its 52-week high of $14.60 set on 09-29-08 and above its 52-week low of $1.40 set on 02-20-09. At $2.93, FPFC is below both its 50-day and 200-day moving averages (another good 'buy' signal). FPFC has trailing twelve month revenues of $89.63 million and its shares out versus float ratio is near-parity.
A 3-MONTH CHART OF FPFC
Finally, Small Cap Pacific Capital Bancorp (PCBC) http://www.pcbancorp.com/ posted a 7.33% gain (0.20) in early trading and is currently trading in the $2.90 range on the Nasdaq. PCBC's 3-Month average daily trading volume is 862,897 shares and it had nearly quadrupled that number in the first few hours of the session, surpassing 2,121,070 shares traded. Here-here for liquidity. At $2.90, PCBC's new market cap is $136.54 million.
PCBC offers its banking services under Santa Barbara Bank & Trust, First National Bank of Central California, South Valley National Bank, San Benito Bank, and First Bank of San Luis Obispo brand names. PCBC operates 51 retail branches and 17 loan production offices.
At $2.90, PCBC is far off its 52-week high of $27.99 set on 09-19-08 and is above its 52-week low of $1.73 set on 06-07-09. At $2.90, PCBC is below both its 50-day and 200-day moving averages and has trailing twelve month revenues of $168.62 million. It shares out versus float ratio is near-parity.
A 3-MONTH CHART OF PCBC
If you as an investor ever wanted to pick up regional bank stocks on the cheap, now is the time.
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