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Updated with stock price moves




) --


(C) - Get Citigroup Inc. Report

was among the winners of the financial sector Wednesday, one day before it becomes the second large U.S. bank to report third-quarter earnings.


will post quarterly results before the start of trading Thursday, with analysts expecting the bank to report a loss of 38 cents a share on revenue of $20.04 billion, according a poll by Thomson Reuters. Investors will be looking for signs that losses in Citi's consumer businesses are moderating.

Lately, Citigroup shares were up 11 cents, or 2.3%, to $4.94.


JPMorgan Chase

(JPM) - Get JPMorgan Chase & Co. Report

blew past estimates with its third-quarter report. The bank said third-quarter earnings of $3.6 billion, or 82 cents a share, well ahead of the Thomson Reuters average estimate of 52 cents a share. Revenue rose 3.9% from a year ago to $26.62 billion, also ahead of estimates.

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JPMorgan said credit costs remained high in the quarter, and it added $2 billion to consumer credit reserves, bringing the firmwide total to $31.5 billion. Tier 1 Common Capital improved by 8.2%, the bank said. JPMorgan shares were lately climbing $1.28, or 2.8%, to $46.94. Earlier, the stock touched a new 52-week high of $47.47.

Other bank stocks were trading higher on optimism that subsequent earnings reports will also outpace expectations.

Goldman Sachs

(GS) - Get Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. Report

, which will report alongside Citigroup early Thursday, was lately up 3% to $192.93.

Bank of America

(BAC) - Get Bank of America Corp Report

, which is scheduled to report earnings early Friday, was higher by 3.5% to $18.44.

Away from earnings news,

The Financial Times

reports that

Royal Bank of Scotland

(RBS) - Get Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc Report

is in the process of working on a government-backed plan to sell all of its 312 RBS-branded branches in England and Wales in order to satisfy European authorities.

EU Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes demanded substantial disposals by RBS to compensate for the huge amount of taxpayer support that it had received earlier and also its planned participation in a government toxic asset insurance scheme. Royal Bank of Scotland shares were rising 60 cents, or 4%, to $15.62.



(CNO) - Get CNO Financial Group, Inc. Report

surged by $1.30, or 26.1%, to $6.29 after the insurer said hedge fund Paulson & Co. agreed to buy 16.4 million shares of common stock and warrants to purchase 5 million shares of common stock for an aggregate purchase price of $77.9 million. After the private sale, Paulson will own nearly 10% of Conseco's outstanding shares.

-- Written by Robert Holmes in New York