NEW YORK (
) -- Financial stocks were mostly stronger Monday, leading the broader market. The
Financial Select Sector SPDR
, a widely-followed exchange-traded fund was up 1.16% to $14.78 in early afternoon trading, leading most of the major indices.
One of the best performers was
Discover Financial Services
, which saw its stock price jump after
of 47 cents per share, beating the
analyst consensus of 38 cents.
Discover shares were up 3.53% to $16.12 on Monday afternoon, while shares of up-market rival
were higher by 3.60% to $42.86.
"Once again this quarter, the most significant factor in our performance was the improvement in credit," said Chairman and CEO David Nelms during a conference call with analysts.
Nonetheless, Discover CFO Roy Guthrie said during the call the company "continue
s to be a bit pessimistic on the economy as a whole and the unemployment rate in particular."
Among the weaker financial names Monday were securities giants
. A report from Barclays Capital analyst Roger Freeman argues meeting Basel 3 capital framework will not likely leave either company with enough excess capital to buy back shares until 2012.
"We believe many investors (including ourselves) had hoped the companies would be in a position
to buy back shares once the capital framework had been worked out and they had been given the green light by the Fed to realign their capital structures as appropriate within the new guidelines," Freeman wrote.
Goldman's stock was up just 57 cents to $151.55 while Morgan Stanley's was higher by only three cents to $26.50. Both companies' shares were underperforming those of "universal" banks, including
Bank of America
Written by Dan Freed in New York
Disclosure: TheStreet's editorial policy prohibits staff editors, reporters and analysts from holding positions in any individual stocks.