NEW YORK (
was among the losers of the financial sector Tuesday after a ratings firm cut its outlook for the bank following what it called an "updated view of extraordinary government support for U.S. financial institutions."
Citigroup traded lower after Standard & Poor's Ratings cut its outlook on the bank to negative from stable, while affirming the banks' counterparty credit and debt ratings at A/A-1. The ratings agency said the outlook revision is due to "increased uncertainty about the U.S. government's willingness to provide additional extraordinary support to highly systemically important financial institutions in a way that will benefit debt holders."
S&P Ratings analysts did say they believe Citigroup's stand-alone position has improved. Citigroup shares were lately falling by 4 cents, or 1.3%, to $3.11.
Meanwhile, the ratings agency also cut its outlook on
Bank of America
to negative from stable, citing the same reasons as the Citigroup revision. S&P Ratings also affirmed all ratings for Bank of America, including its 'A/A-1' counterparty credit rating.
Bank of America was lately down 20 cents, or 1.4%, to $14.28.
Other U.S. bank stocks were trading mixed Tuesday.
tacked on 0.3% to $26.51,
gained 0.6% to $26.75, and
shares advanced 0.9% to $38.04.
On the other hand,
slipped 0.3% to $150.72.
In other bank news,
trading in New York fell 2.5% to $12.52 even after the Swiss bank swung to a profit in the fourth quarter of 1.2 billion Swiss francs ($1.13 billion), topping analysts' estimates. It was the first quarterly profit for UBS in over a year, and the bank also said it continues efforts to stem client asset outflows.
In a statement Tuesday, UBS attributed the fourth-quarter profit, its first quarterly profit in a year, to lower costs, lower own credit charges and a tax credit. Also helping was a pretax profit rise of 40% to 1.11 billion francs at UBS' Wealth Management & Swiss Bank unit.
National Bank of Greece
was among overseas banks on the rise, rallying 10% to $3.76 on speculation that Thursday's EU Summit in Brussels will yield a rescue for Greece as the country continues to struggle with a heavy debt burden.
was also among the winners of the day, up 1.1% to $43.49, after Rochdale Securities analyst Dick Bove said the bank has cleared away its problems and continues to generate impressive internal growth.
"There are two core reasons that State Street is a very attractive stock at this moment. The first is that business is growing," Bove wrote in a research note late Monday. "The company is adding new accounts due to internal growth. The second reason that the earnings outlook is positive is because State Street has solved a number of the problems that were holding the stock price down for the last two years."
Bove cut his 2010 estimate for State Street to $4.24 a share from $4.49 per share, although he hiked his 2011 estimate to $4.89 a share from $4.85 a share. He also established a 2012 earnings estimate of $5.34 a share.
-- Written by Robert Holmes in Boston
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