NEW YORK (
) -- Most financial stocks were weaker Tuesday as traders prepare for the latest pronouncements from the Federal Open Market Committee, which are expected at 2:15 p.m. Volumes in general were light, as is to be expected in August, when many investors are away on vacation.
Financial Select Sector SPDR
, a widely-followed exchange traded fund that tracks financial services companies, was down 1.08% in midday trading, as were many of its largest components.
shares were off 1.52% to $27.80,
was down 1.23% to $4.03,
Bank of America
was lower by 1.58% to $13.69 and shares of
were down 1.13% to $39.37.
Among the two biggest movers from a volume perspective were bond insurers
Ambac Financial Group
, though shares of the two companies were moving sharply in different directions.
MBIA shares were up 3.81% to $9.54 following second-quarter earnings of $1.3 billion, or $6.32 per share, compared to $895 million, or $4.30 per share, in the second quarter of 2009. MBIA also announced it had struck a deal after the end of the quarter with a credit default swap counterparty, allowing it to make a one-time $72 million payment to eliminate $4.4 billion in exposure .
Ambac, on the other hand, lost $57.6 million in the second quarter and said it may need to seek bankruptcy protection as it has insufficient capital to service its debt and fund operating expenses beyond the second quarter of next year. Ambac shares were down 22.43%, or 20 cents, to $0.70.
Written by Dan Freed in New York
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