Thursday's Financial Winners & Losers - TheStreet

The financial sector slung below the rest of the market Thursday, even in the wake of massive gains at

Sterling Financial

(SLFI)

, which skyrocketed more than 70% on takeout news.

The Lancaster, Pa., bank agreed to sell itself to

PNC Financial Services

(PNC) - Get Report

for some $19 a share in stock and cash -- a whopping 80% premium to Sterling's Wednesday closing price. The deal, valued around $565 million, will likely close in the first quarter of 2008.

Sterling surged $7.23 to $17.78 as PNC, which expects to see a one-off charge of $28 million to close the deal, slid 3.1% to $70.93. That weighed on the KBW Bank Index, which dragged 0.7% lower at 113.14.

Another winner in the M&A arena was

Partners Trust Financial

(PRTR)

. Shares of the Utica, N.Y., bank soared 20.3% to $12.04 after

M&T Bank

(MTB) - Get Report

agreed to buy it for roughly $555 million, or $12.50 a share, in 50% cash and 50% stock. The merger should close within six months. M&T shares were lately down 0.2% $110.31.

Partners also announced a year-over-year profit climb of 2 cents to 17 cents a share in the second quarter, and several other financial names issued positive earnings reports.

Nasdaq Stock Market

I:IXIC

jumped 4.6% after

topping

Thomson Financial's second-quarter estimates with income of 39 cents a share.

Sovereign Bancorp's

( SOV) per-share operating earnings waned 10.8% to 33 cents vs. last year, but that was enough to beat targets by a penny. Shares were up 2.3% to $21.86.

Washington Mutual's

(WM) - Get Report

second-quarter profit was also

higher than expected

. Shares jumped in late trading Wednesday but recently retreated by a penny as the

NYSE

Financial Sector Index, of which WaMu is a component, slipped 0.2% to 9,685.85.

MoneyGram International

(MGI) - Get Report

was also pulling down that index after reporting it had made $32.4 million in the second quarter, or 38 cents a share, compared with 42 cents a share a year ago. That is in line with Street predictions, but shares of the Minneapolis-based payment-services firm were still off by $1.42, or 4.7%, to $28.51. Elsewhere, Oregon-based bank

Umpqua

(UMPQ) - Get Report

traded 8.2% lower after per-share operating income slid by 16.7% to 35 cents. Analysts were seeking 39 cents.