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Wednesday's Financial Winners & Losers

Financial stocks were largely mired in negative territory on Wednesday ahead of Thanksgiving and Black Friday, though a number of names took back some of their enormous recent losses.

At least for today, these comeback kids included online broker E*Trade (ETFC), Ohio bank Huntington Bancshares (HBAN) and mortgage investor Fannie Mae (FNM).

E*Trade has seen bumpy trading since Monday last week, when disclosure of further writedowns in its asset-backed securities portfolio and a Citigroup downgrade yanked shares down nearly 60% in a single day. After a partial recovery for the week, then another pullback over the past couple of days, shares today leapt 12.1% to $4.26 in very heavy trading.

Huntington climbed 1.2% for its first real recovery after last week's share-crushing announcement that inherited debt will shred its bottom line to a loss. And Fannie, which plunged nearly in concert with Freddie Mac (FRE) following the latter's dismal third-quarter financials yesterday, today tacked on 3.5% to $29.23

Wachovia (WB) was also in the green after director William Goodwin bumped up his Wachovia holdings by nearly 50% yesterday, to 1.55 million shares, through his construction-materials company Riverstone Group. Shares of the Charlotte, N.C., bank gained 1% to $38.82.

But, more generally, the NYSE Financial Sector Index gave up 187.16 points, or 2.3%, to 8,029.55. The KBW Bank Index poked into the green a couple of times, partly thanks to gains at Huntington and Wachovia, but the sector tracker ultimately ended down 1.5%.

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