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) -

Hudson City Bancorp


was the winner among large U.S. financials on Friday, with shares rising 4% to close at $6.00.

Hudson City earlier announced a second major restructuring of its balance sheet to lower interest rate and boost its net interest margin, by

prepaying $4.3 billion in wholesale borrowings

with an average rate of 4.21%, and taking a $440.7 million fourth-quarter charge. CEO Ronald Hermance said that the company was "doing just what our customers are doing: paying down expensive debt in this prolonged period of depressed market interest rates."

The broad indexes were mixed, after Fitch Ratings followed up on its Thursday

downgrades of several major banks

by placing seven European nations, including France, Belgium, Spain, Italy and Ireland, on negative watch, because a "'comprehensive solution' to the eurozone crisis is technically and politically beyond reach."


KBW Bank Index


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rose 1% to close at 37.71.

Large U.S. banks seeing 2% gains on Friday included


(BBT) - Get BB&T Corporation Report

, which closed at $24.05;

Bank of New York Mellon

(BK) - Get Bank of New York Mellon Corporation Report

, closing at $19.11;

PNC Financial Services

(PNC) - Get PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. Report

, at $55.09; and

State Street

(STT) - Get State Street Corporation Report

, closing at $40.04.

BB&T and State Street were among

four bank stocks

that were assigned initial "Buy" ratings by UBS analyst Greg Ketro, along with

U.S. Bancorp

(USB) - Get U.S. Bancorp Report



(STI) - Get SunTrust Banks, Inc. Report


Shares of

Bank of America

(BAC) - Get Bank of America Corp Report

pulled back 1% to close at $5.20, after disclosing in a regulatory filing that it had sold a total of 400 million shares of stock and $2.3 billion in senior debt to retire $5.8 billion worth of preferred and trust preferred securities, boosting its regulatory capital by $3.9 billion.


3 Positive Forces Behind Bank Stocks in 2012 >

Bank of America Dilutes Investors In Time for Christmas >

Hudson City Restructures, Plans 4Q Charge >

4 Bank Stock Buys for 2012: UBS >

Capital One: Top Bank Stock Pick for 2012 >

Former Fannie, Freddie CEOs Sued by SEC Over Mortgage Crisis >

Citigroup Gets Third Strike in Japan >

Discover Selloff 'Overdone: Goldman >


Written by Philip van Doorn in Jupiter, Fla.

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Philip van Doorn


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Philip W. van Doorn is a member of TheStreet's banking and finance team, commenting on industry and regulatory trends. He previously served as the senior analyst for Ratings, responsible for assigning financial strength ratings to banks and savings and loan institutions. Mr. van Doorn previously served as a loan operations officer at Riverside National Bank in Fort Pierce, Fla., and as a credit analyst at the Federal Home Loan Bank of New York, where he monitored banks in New York, New Jersey and Puerto Rico. Mr. van Doorn has additional experience in the mutual fund and computer software industries. He holds a bachelor of science in business administration from Long Island University.