The S&P 500 posted a 1% decline during the fourth quarter of 2012 with a 0.7% increasing in December. The S&P 500 was up by approximately 13.4% during 2012. The banking sector still faces elevated regulatory pressures and continued pressure on net interest margins in today’s low interest rate environment, but generally outperformed other stock indexes.
The SNL U.S. Bank Index increased by 5.8% during the fourth quarter after increasing by 7.6% in the third quarter of 2012, leaving it up by approximately 32.3% during the full year. Smaller banks also fared well during the quarter, with the SNL U.S. Bank less than $500 million index increasing by 2.9% during the fourth quarter of 2012 after increasing by 1.9% in the third quarter of 2012, leaving it up by about 18.7% for the year.
More information regarding nationwide M&A activity can be found here.