Friday's Financial Winners & Losers

American Equity Investment Life rises on news of a share buyback.
Publish date:

Updated from 1:43 p.m. EDT

Financial stocks clung onto the moderately higher broader market Friday, delivering a somewhat choppy morning in the green.

American Equity Investment Life

(AEL) - Get Report

was one of the winners, rising 1.1% to $12.12 on word the Iowa-based life insurer will buy back up to 350,000 of its shares. AEL says this will cut the amount of diluted shares outstanding "on a one-for-one basis."

Fidelity National Financial

(FNF) - Get Report

was still higher one trading day after saying it will



(CEN) - Get Report

, even amid word today that William Foley has resigned as chief executive. Alan Stinson, previously a co-chief operating officer, will replace him as CEO, and Foley will remain chairman of the board, "actively focusing on strategic issues and acquisitions." Shares of the Florida-based insurer gained 39 cents to $28.43.

Management changes, however, also sank a couple of stocks. One was Alabaman life insurer

Protective Life


after its chief financial officer, Gary Corsi, left the company, to be replaced by former chief investment officer Richard Bielen. Carl Thigpen has assumed the role of CIO, and Carolyn Johnson was promoted to chief operating officer. Shares shed 1.5% to $49.28.


Legg Mason

(LM) - Get Report

slipped on word its chief administrative officer, Timothy Scheve, will resign. Shares were off 1.1% to $99.95.

Nasdaq Stock Market


also joined the laggards after Lehman Brothers downgraded the exchange to equal-weight from overweight, citing valuation. Shares lost 0.2% to $33.21.

As for broad trackers, the


Financial Sector Index and the KBW Bank Index each recently tacked on 0.5%.