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Bank stocks gain as investors focus on Fed speak, upcoming jobs report

Customers wait in line for an ATM outside of a Wells Fargo bank branch in Los Angeles.
Patrick T. Fallon | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Financial stocks gained in Monday trading, leading the market higher as investors weighed the possibility of an impending interest rate hike.

Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen, speaking from Jackson Hole, Wyoming, on Friday, said she believes "the case for an increase in the federal funds rate has strengthened in recent months."

The U.S. central bank's vice chairman, Stanley Fischer, also told CNBC on Friday that the upcoming jobs report "will probably weigh" on the Fed's decision regarding the federal funds rate. Economists polled by Reuters expect that the U.S. economy added 180,000 jobs in August.

On Monday, the SPDR S&P Bank ETF (KBE) was up 1 percent in intraday trade as Bank of America and Citizens Financial gained more than 1 percent. Wells Fargo surged more than 2 percent in midday trading. The SPDR S&P Regional Bank ETF (KRE) was also about 1 percent higher.

The KBE ended the day up about 0.87 percent while KRE gained 0.76 percent. Bank of America pared its gains and ended the session up about 0.32 percent, while Citizens Financial climbed 1.4 percent and Wells Fargo held its about 2 percent gains.

Even with Monday's gains, the KBE has fallen about 0.3 percent, while Bank of America, Citizens Financial and Wells Fargo have fallen 5 percent, 6 percent and 8 percent, respectively. Meanwhile, the KRE is up more than 1 percent over the same period.