Updated from 1:14 p.m. EDT
Financial stocks aligned with the slightly higher broader market Thursday after a morning of choppy trading in largely negative territory.
emerged as one of the bigger winners, jumping 9.7% to $27.33 after first-quarter income from continuing operations about doubled year over year to 50 cents a share, or $171.4 million, vs. analysts' estimates of 45 cents a share from Thomson Financial.
, based in Newark, N.J., gained 2.9% to $99.65 after adjusted operating income came to $1.85 a share in the first quarter -- 20 cents past Street expectations.
Upbeat analyst calls lifted a few names, among them
. Shares added 5.9% to $134.75 on a Wachovia upgrade to outperform on the heels of Wednesday's
. HSBC likewise raised
to neutral from underweight a day after the credit-card company
first-quarter estimates. Shares gained 6.7% to $134.82 in recent trading.
Financial Sector Index, of which all the above stocks are components, rose 33.8 points to 9,848.98. The KBW Bank Index edged higher at 117.20.
Among today's few losers was
American Equity Investment Life
, which posted first-quarter income of 26 cents a share, profits that were 8 cents short of Street projections. The Iowa-based life insurer sank 7% to $12.79 in far-heavier-than-usual trading.
, another insurer, tumbled 14.6% to $18.81 on a first-quarter revenue miss. Similarly, San Francisco-based broker
Thomas Weisel Partners
lost 8.7% to $18.77.