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Ambac, MBIA: Financial Winners & Losers

Ambac and MBIA were among the most active names in financial stocks.
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NEW YORK (

TheStreet

) -- 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.

The

Financial Select Sector SPDR

(XLF) - Get Financial Select Sector SPDR Report

, 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.

Wells Fargo

(WFC) - Get Wells Fargo & Company Report

shares were off 1.52% to $27.80,

Citigroup

(C) - Get Citigroup Inc. Report

was down 1.23% to $4.03,

Bank of America

(BAC) - Get Bank of America Corporation Report

was lower by 1.58% to $13.69 and shares of

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JPMorgan Chase

(JPM) - Get JP Morgan Chase & Co. Report

were down 1.13% to $39.37.

Among the two biggest movers from a volume perspective were bond insurers

Ambac Financial Group

(ABK)

and

MBIA

(MBI) - Get MBIA Inc. Report

, 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.

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Written by Dan Freed in New York

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Disclosure: TheStreet's editorial policy prohibits staff editors, reporters and analysts from holding positions in any individual stocks.