Countrywide Financial

( CFC) rose after the Calabasas, Calif., financial services company said December mortgage loan fundings were $44 billion, up 27% from a year ago. Fourth-quarter mortgage loan fundings reached $133 billion, up 40% from a year ago.

Full-year fundings totaled $491 billion, a new company record. Shares of Countrywide Financial rose $1.30, or 3.7%, to $36.83 in recent trading.

Shares of

Franklin Resources

(BEN) - Get Report

were climbing when the San Mateo, Calif., investment management company reported that preliminary month-end assets under management reached $464.8 billion in December, compared with $453.2 billion in November and $402.2 billion a year ago. Franklin Resources rose $1.70, or 1.7%, to $99.51.

HCC Insurance Holdings

(HCC) - Get Report

gained ground after saying it was confident it could achieve or beat the consensus earnings estimate of $2.55 a share for 2006, despite dilution from the company's recent equity offering and stock-based compensation expenses. Shares of HCC Insurance were adding 71 cents, or 2.3%, to $31.60 in recent trading.

Waddell & Reed Financial

(WDR) - Get Report

climbed after the Overland Park, Kan., financial services company said it priced a public offering of $200 million of 5.60% notes due 2011. The company said it expects the offering to close Friday.

The company said it will use the net proceeds of the offering and cash on hand to repay the principal on $200 million of 7 1/2% senior notes due Jan. 18. Shares of Waddell & Reed rose 48 cents, or 2.3%, to $21.79 in recent trading.