Updated from 1:16 EDT
Financial stocks gasped for air Friday before seesawing back into the red, notwithstanding an influx of positive earnings and analyst research as well as a skyrocketing
Union State Bank
Shares of the Orangeburg, N.Y., bank surged 57.3% to $24.05 after
agreed to buy it for around $575 million. The cash-and-stock deal will probably close within the next six months. KeyCorp, which expects earnings accretion from the merger in 2009, dipped 22 cents to $34.99.
Cash America International
, a Texas-based pawnshop operator, jumped 5.7% to $36.54 after saying second-quarter earnings spiked 19.4% to 43 cents a share, or $13.2 million, from a year ago.
First State Bancorp
( FSNM), of Albuquerque, N.M., pocketed 35 cents a cents a share in that quarter to top Thomson Financial's estimates by a penny, and
United Commercial Bank's
( UCBH) per-share profit was in line.
First State climbed 3.1% to $17.64; San Francisco-based United gained 11 cents, or 0.7%, to $16.77.
As for brokerage action,
Fifth Third Bancorp
were both upped to neutral from sell at Bank of America, both on valuation, following their recent price slides. NYSE shares gained 2.9%; First Third got a lift earlier in the day but closed down 40 cents, or 1.1%, at $36.78.
Annaly Capital Management
added 1% to $14.34 on a Citigroup upgrade to buy, and
( NCC) was raised to hold from sell by an analyst at Stifel Nicolaus. Shares advanced earlier in the day but closed off 24 cents at $29.86.
A number of financial stocks sank on earnings, meanwhile, among them
. The Massachusetts insurer lost 6.9% to $28.71 after falling far short of analysts' views, earning just $41.5 million, or 63 cents a share, in the second quarter vs. 86 cents a share last year. The consensus had called for 80 cents a share.
Stewart Information Services
, a Houston-based purveyor of real estate information and transaction management, saw a 36% per-share income drop to 55 cents in the second quarter, after which shares slipped 5 cents to $36.95.
Selective Insurance Group
, of Branchville, N.J., gave up 5.5% despite meeting operating-profit targets for that quarter. Shares closed at $20.23.
More broadly, the
Financial Sector Index lost 1.3% to 9005.35 after a morning jaunt into positive territory. The KBW Bank Index was down 0.6% at 105.57.