NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire -06/21/12)- U.S. financial stocks led the way as the markets rallied Tuesday on optimism of stimulus from the Federal Reserve, a positive Spanish debt auction, and rise in U.S. building permits. The Financial Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLF), which tracks the performance of S&P 500 financial stocks, jumped over 2 percent, while the KBW Bank Index (BKX) jumped as much as 2.5 percent Tuesday. Five Star Equities examines the outlook for companies in the Financial Sector and provides equity research on First Horizon National Corp. (FHN) and U.S. Bancorp (USB).
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The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) began a two-day meeting Tuesday. Investors have been watching for a signal that the central bank would step in with additional easing or with an extension of their "Operation Twist" program, which extends maturities of central bank's bonds.
"I think the combination of growing optimism that the FOMC could announce the continuation of its Operation Twist tomorrow, speculation that the Greeks are close to forming a coalition government [and] easing Spanish debt yields... are all providing a tailwind for today's move higher," said Ryan Larson, head of equity trading at RBC Global Asset Management.
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First Horizon National provides financial services through more than 170 bank locations in and around Tennessee and 18 FTN Financial Group offices in the U.S. and abroad. First Horizon National was ranked 42nd in SNL Financial's latest ranking of the 50 largest banks and thrifts by asset size, with assets of $25.68 billion in the first quarter of 2012.
U.S. Bancorp, with $341 billion in assets as of March 31, 2012, is the parent company of U.S. Bank National Association, the 5th largest commercial bank in the United States. The company operates 3,080 banking offices in 25 states and 5,061 ATMs. U.S. Bancorp is expected to release its second quarter 2012 earnings before market open on Wednesday, July 18, 2012.
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