Thursday's Financial Winners & Losers
After a couple of gleeful days in positive territory, financial stocks eased back into the red Thursday amid negative analyst notes and other assorted bad news.
The NYSE Financial Sector Index lost 58.57, or 0.7%, to 8,499.92, and the KBW Bank Index shed about a point, or 1%, to 94.21.
Still, E*Trade (ETFC) managed to stay afloat for most of the day after Citadel Investment Group agreed to inject the online broker with $2.5 billion in cash. The New York firm has foundered since announcing more writedowns at its banking unit, which prompted a stock-battering downgrade. Today, shares were trading substantially higher before taking an afternoon fall. They closed down 8.7% at $4.82.
As for analyst calls, Lehman Brothers (LEH) lost ground after CIBC World Markets slashed $16 off its price target to $79. The New York broker's fourth-quarter and full-year 2008 profit targets were also whittled down, though the analyst kept Lehman's sector outperformer rating. Shares slid $3.16, or 4.9%, to $61.69.Similarly, UBS maintained American International Group's (AIG) neutral rating but chopped its price target down to $61 from $75 while lopping 25 cents off its 2008 EPS expectation to $6.19. Shares of the insurance giant gave up 0.7% to $57.33. Investment bank Piper Jaffray (PJC) fell 8.9% to $45.30 after Wachovia cut the stock to market perform from outperform, citing broad-market worries, and a Piper analyst slapped a sell sticker on State Auto Financial (STFC). Shares of the Ohio insurer lost $2.47, or 8.4%, to $26.91.
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