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
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
was still higher one trading day after saying it will
, 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
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.
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%.