Updated from 1:29 p.m. EDT
A number of financial stocks were hit with downgrades Friday as the sector slid downward in near synchronization with the broad indices.
was an exception, however,
launching with a bang
today in its initial public offering. The asset manager priced some 133.3 million shares at $31 apiece -- the high end of its expected range -- and closed up 13.1% to $35.06.
New York investment bank
was upped to outperform from market perform at Wachovia, boosting shares by 4.7% to $68.48, and
( CORS) added 5.4% on word of a special $1-per-share cash dividend to holders of record as of July 18. Shares of the Chicago-based bank closed up 89 cents to $17.25.
Among other scarce financial winners today, student lender
gained 3.8% to $40.66; tax preparer
tacked on 2.3% to $22.54; and insurer
Sun Life Financial
added 1.3% to $47.33.
Financial Sector Index plunged 138.76 points, or 1.4%, to 9640.41. The KBW Bank Index was off 1.7% at 113.56. Its components include Boston's
, which lost 1.6% to $68.32 despite adding a penny to its per-share dividend at 22 cents.
tumbled 5.4% to $28.42 after Robert W. Baird cut the Chicago bank to neutral from outperform. Meanwhile, Jefferies and Piper Jaffray respectively doled out downgrades to nonprime auto-finance firm
United Panam Financial
, which shed 5.4%, and insurer
Fidelity National Financial
, off 2.1%.
( BSC) also swung lower after
offering $3.2 billion
in secured financing in order to save two struggling Bear hedge funds. Creditor
seized collateral assets
from the funds last week. Bear shares closed down $2.06, or 1.4%, to $143.75. Merrill dropped 3.2% to $84.48.
Also among the multitudes of falling financial stocks were brokers
, down 3.3%, and
, down 4%, as well as asset manager
Fortress Investment Group
, down 6.3%.