) -- The big boys in the financial sector were not the winners today.

Indeed, if the bulge bracket firms are doing God's work, as

Goldman Sachs


CEO Lloyd Blankfield infamously suggested last week, the almighty must have been out of the office today. Or, he just has decided that some Ohio regional banks and insurers were the place to play.

All the major banking stocks ended in negative territory.


(LAZ) - Get Report


Morgan Stanley

(MS) - Get Report

led the retreat, being down 3.53% and 3.06% respectively. The trend was clear: Banks with big market caps were beaten down during a day which seemed to bring out all sorts of new fears about an economic recovery.

Is it Meredith Whitney's fault for turning bearish on the sector in recent days, or was it just the market freefall extending its tail to the banking sector today?

Deutsche Bank

(DB) - Get Report

dropped 2.82% and

Credit Suisse

(CS) - Get Report

dipped 2.80%; while


(UBS) - Get Report

kept to the trend, shedding 2.75% of its share price.

Over at God's personal banker, Goldman Sachs, shares were down 2.30% on the day.

JP Morgan Chase

(JPM) - Get Report


Wells Fargo

(WFC) - Get Report


Bank of America

(BAC) - Get Report

(-1.65%) and


(AIG) - Get Report

(-1.38%) were all down as well.

American Express

(AXP) - Get Report



(C) - Get Report

fared well by comparison, losing 1.03% and 0.7% respectively. Some of Amex's competitors in the credit card business took it on the chin as a result of fears about the U.S. recovery falling short of expectations:

Capital One Financial

(COF) - Get Report

was down 5.22% and

Discover Financial

(DFS) - Get Report

was down 3.56%.

Some smaller regional banking players performed well, even though the closely watched KBW Regional Bank Index was down 1.94% on the day, dropping even more than the broad financial services industry index. Ohio-based

Central Federal Corporation

(CFBK) - Get Report

, with a market cap of $6.7 million, and

Ohio Legacy


, with a $2.77 million market cap, led the local surge with spikes of 40.34% and 34.78%, respectively.

By comparison, the financial services industry index was down 1.67% on the day.

Some insurers bucked the trend too standing out as winners at the market close.

American National

(ANAT) - Get Report

was up 5.46% to close at $97.61. The same was true for

CNA Financial

(CNA) - Get Report

, up 3.43% on the day to close at $23.53.

-- Reported by Eric Rosenbaum in New York

Follow on


and become a fan on


Copyright 2009 Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.