Updated for closing stock prices.



) --


(C) - Get Report

shares closed Thursday up a penny -- and financial stocks in general ended mixed -- as the bank kept investors wondering if it could strike a deal with the federal government to

end its TARP entanglement


Word emerged late Wednesday that Citigroup may be planning a stock offering to raise $15 billion to $20 billion, funds it would use to help pay back the more than $20 billion in aid it received under the Troubled Asset Relief Program. Eager to remove itself from the government dole -- and the resulting federal pay-scale oversight -- the megabank fears a brain drain.

Citigroup appeared to remain embroiled in negotiations with the feds Thursday afternoon. Talks are ongoing with three parties: the FDIC, the

Federal Reserve

and the Treasury Department, which is reportedly more willing to go along with Citigroup's plans than the other two agencies.

Investors could do little, evidently, but stand on the sidelines. By the close of trading Thursday, shares of Citigroup had inched higher by a penny, to $3.87.

The swirling Citigroup news comes after

Bank of America

(BAC) - Get Report

announced Wednesday that it had

fully made due on its $45 billion bailout injection

, and as

Wells Fargo

(WFC) - Get Report

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continues with its

own parallel talks

with the government to de-TARP.

Bank of America shares ended the regular session at $15.21, down 1.2%, while Wells Fargo issues finished the day at $25.32, down 2.5%.

Shares of

JPMorgan Chase

(JPM) - Get Report

rose 0.2% to $41.27 Thursday. The U.S. is auctioning 88.4 million warrants on shares of JPMorgan Thursday and could reportedly take in more than $1 billion for taxpayers on the sale, according to a


report. The government received the warrants in exchange for TARP funds.

Meanwhile Thursday, new figures showed that the nation's biggest lenders, under a government program meant to forestall foreclosures, have had poor results completing permanent mortgage loan modifications for homeowners. Just 31,000 loans have been permanently modified. Bank of America, for example, completed only 98 as of the end of last month. Lenders say it's not their fault; mortgage holders, they argue, have a habit of turning in incomplete paperwork.

Goldman Sachs

(GS) - Get Report

made headlines Thursday with word that it would

forgo dolling out cash bonuses

to its top executives this year, kowtowing to pressure from some of its own shareholders, as well as the U.S. government and the public over the huge bonus checks cut to the traders and bankers many people feel were responsible for the financial crisis.

Goldman shares added 0.2% Thursday to close at $166.73. Shares of its rival, Morgan Stanley, retreated 0.4% to $30.23.

-- Written by Scott Eden in New York

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Scott Eden has covered business -- both large and small -- for more than a decade. Prior to joining TheStreet.com, he worked as a features reporter for Dealmaker and Trader Monthly magazines. Before that, he wrote for the Chicago Reader, that city's weekly paper. Early in his career, he was a staff reporter at the Dow Jones News Service. His reporting has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, Men's Journal, the St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times, and the Believer magazine, among other publications. He's also the author of Touchdown Jesus (Simon & Schuster, 2005), a nonfiction book about Notre Dame football fans and the business and politics of big-time college sports. He has degrees from Notre Dame and Washington University in St. Louis.