Updated from 12:23 p.m. ET
Financial firms were mostly falling along with the major averages Wednesday, as reports of increased scrutiny for
fourth-quarter loss contributed to investor unease.
The KBW Bank Index closed down 1.6% at 44.98, and the Amex Securities Broker/Dealer Index gained 0.25% to 77.12.
After dipping $1.33 in early trading,
shares were off their lows, then closed up 37 cents, or 2.3%, at $16.50. The bank holding company announced a loss of $2.37 billion, or $2.34 for the fourth quarter. A year ago, Morgan Stanley lost $3.61 billion, or $3.61 a share.
Meanwhile, Citigroup, a member of the
Dow Jones Industrial Average
, was falling 4.9% to $7.83.
The Wall Street Journal
reported Wednesday that the banking behemoth was facing
in part because of its participation in the government's Troubled Asset Relief Program.
Elsewhere, a report in the
suggested that Citi would be
On the winning side,
added 3.7% to $78.78, building on the previous day's gains despite announcing its first loss as a public company on Tuesday.
Among regional banks, shares of
gained 2.3% to $2.25,
rose 0.8% to $8.77 and shares of
fell 2.44% to $26.39.
JPMorgan Chase analyst Steven Alexopoulous noted that those three banks were most at risk for needing equity in the months ahead.
On the other hand, Alexopoulous noted
People's United Financial
had the highest equity levels among midcap banks.
Still, shares of People's United fell 1.5% to $17.85 and City National stock gained 2.8% to $44.90.
Following a downgrade by JPMorgan's Alexopoulous to neutral from overweight, shares of
fell 0.63% to $7.95.
Copyright 2008 TheStreet.com Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. AP contributed to this report.