Speaking at Coopers Union, near the heart of Manhattan's financial district, Obama said, "What happens here has real consequences across our country."
That was a dynamic "some on Wall Street forgot," he said.
Despite the scolding, bank shares as a group rose 0.45 percent, while financial services rose 1.09 percent. Shares of Dow components American Express rose 0.78 percent, while Bank of America shares gained 0.26 percent. JP Morgan & Chase shares fell 1.35 percent.
At the close, the DJIA added 0.08 percent, 9.37 points, to 11,134.29. The Standard & Poor's 500 index gained 0.23 percent, 2.73 points, to 1,208.67. The Nasdaq composite index of tech-dominated stocks, added 0.58 percent, 14.46 points, to 2,519.07.
On the New York Stock Exchange, 2,014 stocks advanced and 1,052 declined on a volume of 6 billion shares traded.
The benchmark 10-year Treasury fell 7/32 to yield 3.77 percent.
The euro fell to $1.3291 from Wednesday's $1.3399. Against the yen, the dollar fell to 93.44 yen from Wednesday's 93.20 yen.
In Japan, the Nikkei 225 index lost 1.27 percent, 140.96 points, to 10,949.09.
In Britain, the FTSE 100 index lost 1.02 percent, 58.10 points, to 5,665.33.
Notable deaths of 2014 [PHOTOS]