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plummeted after the New York-based specialist trading firm reported a decline in third-quarter profits.

LaBranche earned $7.8 million, or 13 cents a share, compared with $9.2 million, or 15 cents a share. The third-quarter results included a $17.6 million pretax gain in the value of LaBranche's portfolio of restricted shares of the

NYSE Group


, the parent company of the

New York Stock Exchange

. Excluding that gain, LaBranche incurred an operating loss of $2.1 million, or 3 cents a share.

Analysts, as surveyed by Thomson Financial, were looking for earnings of 11 cents a share. The selloff was sparked by the disappointing operating figure. Shares were trading down $1.74, or 15.7%, to $9.31.

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slipped after the San Diego, Calif.-based mortgage banking company was downgraded by Stifel Nicolaus to hold from buy. Shares fell $1.43, or 4.1%, to $33.65.

Charles Schwab

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fell after the discount brokerage posted mixed third-quarter results. The company earned $266 million, or 21 cents a share, on revenue of $1.29 billion. Analysts expected earnings of 20 cents a share on slightly higher revenue of $1.3 billion. Shares were trading down 29 cents, or 1.7%, to $17.27.

Marsh & McLennan

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gained after the New York-based insurance brokerage was upgraded by Matrix Research to hold from sell. Shares were climbing 64 cents, or $2.3%, to $27.98.


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lost ground as the nation's fourth-largest bank missed Wall Street's third-quarter revenue expectations. The Charlotte, N.C., bank made $1.88 billion, or $1.17 a share, up from $1.66 billion, or $1.06 a share, a year ago. Revenue rose 5.2% to $7.04 billion.

Excluding costs, operating earnings were $1.19 a share, in line with the Thomson Financial consensus estimate. But revenues at the bank fell short of the analyst consensus estimate of $7.28 billion. Shares were trading down $1.69, or about 3%, to $54.78.