Are Banks Helping NYSE Volume?

Banks are rebounding a bit this morning on the heels of Citigroup’s earnings report that showed loan loss reserves are continuing to decline.

The bank bounce today comes after a rough week for the sector last week as concerns over the foreclosure crisis heavily weighed. Last week: Wells Fargo (WFC) down 9.1%, Bank of America (BAC) down 9.1%, Citigroup (C) down 5.7%, JPMorgan Chase (JPM) down 5.5%.

But one “positive” resulting from last week’s bank jitters has been a rise in NYSE trading volumes. Take a look at what happened on Friday.

Just over 6 billion shares changed hands at the NYSE on Friday for the first time since July 1. That’s now 3 straight days of 5+ billion shares in volumes, significantly above the 4 billion share average over the past several weeks.

Next, see the surge in volumes in the big banks on Friday: Wells Fargo – 3.5 times normal volume, JPMorgan Chase – 3.4 times normal volume, Bank of America – 3.2 times normal volume, Citigroup – 1.7 times normal volume.

So how much did the higher-than-normal volumes in those big bank stocks affect NYSE volumes?

Combined, those 4 stocks traded over a 1 billion more shares than normal on Friday at the NYSE. That’s significant given that Friday’s NYSE volume of 6 billion shares was about 2 billion higher than the exchange’s recent average.

In addition, also helping volumes lately is the increased interest in foreign stocks.

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