Updated from 1:53 p.m. EDT
Financial stocks were climbing higher than most ahead of this Tuesday's highly anticipated rate-cut decision from the
, and individual names like
also helped to lighten the mood.
The broker's shares gained 10% to $64.49 on third-quarter earnings that were
better than expected
, if slightly lower than last year -- $870 million, or $1.54 a share, vs. Thomson Financial's $1.47 average per-share estimate. Chief Financial Officer Chris O'Meara also delivered some
this morning, intoning that the "worst of credit correction is behind us."
Lehman helped give legs to the
Financial Sector Index, which jumped 348.8 points, or 3.9%, to around 9226.
(COF - Get Report)
bolstered the index, as well, after announcing it intends on paying out some 25% of its 2008 income in fixed quarterly dividends. Shares spiked 6.9% to $69.73 as the KBW Bank Index, of which the credit-card company is also a member, gained 4.6% to about 110.5.
Fellow credit-card concern
(AXP - Get Report)
added 4.5% to $60.80 after Standard Chartered agreed to buy its international banking unit for about $1.1 billion. The exact value of the transaction, which should close in the first quarter, is the net asset value of the unit's businesses at the closing date plus $300 million.
Among few financial losers today was online broker
(ETFC - Get Report)
, which said it will exit or restructure "non-core businesses that lack a direct and strategic connection with its retail customers," including a departure from wholesale mortgage. E*Trade
its 2007 guidance to between $1.05 and $1.15 a share (on a GAAP basis), citing the restructuring and an increased loan-loss provision. The prior range had been $1.53 to $1.67 a share.
Shares sank 21 cents, or 1.5%, to $14.