Updated from 12:06 p.m. EDT
Merger news and corporate executive changes were making headlines in the financial space Monday, but on the whole, the sector was creeping to the downside.
LaBranche (LAB) rose 4.8% to $7.87 on word the specialist firm is reviewing strategic alternatives aimed at enhancing stockholder value. The company also agreed to sell its American Stock Exchange equity specialist operation to Cohen Specialists and will likely take a substantial charge related to the sale.Additionally, the company expects to report positive net income before taking into account any potential impairment charges and unrealized losses related to its investment in NYSE Euronext (NYX) during the second quarter. Including charges, the quarter will probably show a loss. FirstCity Financial (FCFC) rose after the company concluded a review to determine whether the company and its subsidiaries received inadequate compensation, or other improprieties occurred, with respect to the sale of a loan portfolio to a third party. The independent investigation found no evidence indicating that FirstCity or any officer, manager or full-time employee personally benefited from the transactions relating to the portfolio sale. FirstCity doesn't expect to have to adjust its financial statements. The stock added 6.6% to $10.70.