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Financial Winners & Losers: Discover

Washington Mutual falls more than 20%.
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Financial stocks in the U.S. were broadly higher Thursday as hopes grew that the government might be close to releasing the details on its plans to offer support for the banking sector.

The NYSE Financial Sector index was gaining 3%, and the KBW Bank index was rising 3.3%. The Amex Securities Broker/Dealer index was lagging, but was still advancing 1.4%.

Helping the group was word from Washington that lawmakers appear set to vote on Henry Paulson's big

bailout

proposal that's aimed at restoring some health to the financial markets.

Among individual stocks, Fitch revised its rating outlook on

Bank of New York Mellon

(BK)

to stable from positive. At the same time, the agency affirmed its ratings on the company. Shares were up more than 9%.

Goldman Sachs

(GS)

and

Bank of America

(BAC)

were also higher, climbing 3% and 4%, respectively.

Morgan Stanley

(MS)

was even better, advancing 10%.

Citigroup

(C)

was up 4.4%.

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Elsewhere,

Discover Financial

(DFS)

said its third-quarter earnings declined from a year ago, but its numbers still topped analysts' estimates. Shares eased 1%.

Washington Mutual

(WM)

was one of the weaker performers, sinking 21%.

The Wall Street Journal

reported that the company might be trying to find a buyer in the private equity universe, potentially

Carlyle Group

or

Blackstone

(BX)

.

This article was written by a staff member of TheStreet.com.