Updated from 1:18 p.m. EDT
Financial stocks traded mixed Wednesday after word that the Obama administration is gearing up to release select information from its stress tests of 19 major U.S. financial institutions.
The New York Times
reported Wednesday that the government will divulge some information on the
after concluding that keeping many of the findings secret could send investors fleeing from financial institutions rumored to be weakest.
added 6.1% and
recovered from early losses to finish 7% higher.
Bank of America
also rebounded to end up 3.5%, while
gave back 1%.
shares were in the red for most of Wednesday after the credit-card issuer said the annualized net charge-off rate for U.S. credit cards -- debts that are likely in default -- rose to 9.33% in March from 8.06% in February. The charge-off rate for the company's international card operations rose to 8.67% last month from 7.2% in February. The stock ended up 1.5% at $17.32 after a late session rally.
Electronic payment processor
was named a top pick by RBC Capital Markets after the firm initiated coverage of Visa. RBC also initiated coverage of
with an outperform rating. The companies, unlike credit card providers, do not carry consumer debt. Visa gained 1.3% while MasterCard shed 0.4%.
Among other analyst moves,
was the subject of several research reports Wednesday. JPMorgan Chase and Sandler O'Neill both downgraded the broker to neutral and hold, respectively.
Pali Research, meanwhile, initiated Goldman shares with a sell rating, arguing that while Goldman is the single biggest beneficiary of the collapse of the capital markets sector, there will be a better entry point. That lower entry point doesn't appear to be coming Wednesday, as Goldman shares climbed 5.3% to $121.19.
said it will
as its losses continue. The Swiss bank estimates it will report a first-quarter loss of almost 2 billion Swiss francs ($1.75 billion) and will reduce headcount in 2010 to 67,500 from 76,200 at the end of March. Shares tacked on 0.4% to $11.23.