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Wednesday's Financial Winners & Losers

Morgan Stanley (MS) advanced after the investment bank said it earned $1.96 billion, or $1.86 a share, in the latest second quarter, compared with $928 million, or 86 cents a share, a year ago. Revenue rose 48% to $8.9 billion. Analysts were forecasting earnings of $1.45 on sales of $7.87 billion.

The company attributed the improved results to strong equity and fixed-income trading, and said its asset management and global wealth management divisions posted promising results. Shares of Morgan were up $2.76, or 4.8%, to $59.78.

Hudson City Bancorp (HCBK) gained after the bank holding company said its board approved the repurchase up to 56.9 million shares, or about 10% of its stock outstanding. Hudson has 2.6 million shares remaining to be repurchased under the current buyback plan.

The repurchased shares will probably be held as treasury stock for general corporate use. Shares rose 16 cents, or 1.2%, to $13.38.

Westfield Financial (WFD) surged on word that the boards of the company, Westfield Mutual Holding Co. and Westfield Bank adopted a plan for the bank to reorganize from a two-tier mutual holding company structure to a stock holding company.

The mutual holding company and Westfield Financial will be merged with the bank, which will then become a unit of a Massachusetts corporation that will be formed. Shares of Westfield were higher by $2.87, or 11.6%, to $27.58.

JP Morgan's (JPM) shares were rising nearly 2% even though its rating was cut to neutral from overweight by Prudential. Analysts at Prudential said they were concerned about rising interest rates and their impact on asset markets.

The brokerage also lowered its price target on JP Morgan to $45 from $51. Still, shares of JP Morgan were up 80 cents at $41.29.

Property and casualty insurance provider State Auto Financial (STFC) slipped following the company's announcement that it will increase its estimates of losses from storms in the second quarter.

The company now believes its quarterly operating results will include between $45 million and $51 million in pretax catastrophe losses related to storms. Shares of State Auto fell 29 cents, or 0.9%, to $33.76.

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