Another batch of earnings releases played a hand in Tuesday's market session as most financial stocks moved higher alongside the major indices.

Universal Insurance Holdings

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, of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., soared 31.3% to $5.25 after first-quarter income more than tripled to 30 cents a share, or $12.4 million. New York asset manager

Evercore Partners

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more than doubled its adjusted income to 50 cents a share. Analysts polled by Thomson Financial sought 37 cents.

Shares of Evercore, up 4.5% at $31.70, helped prop up the


Financial Sector Index. The tracker recently added 0.7% to 9,909.41.

Gaining on merger news was another NYSE Index component,

21st Century Insurance

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. Insurance giant

American International Group

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, which already owns 60.8% of 21st Century, agreed to buy the rest of the Woodland Hills, Calif., auto insurer's shares for $22 apiece in cash. This compares with the $19.75-per-share bid AIG originally launched in January.

21st Century shares tacked on 3.5% to $21.73; AIG was recently off 19 cents to $72.28.

Further in the red today was

Fortress Investment Group


after it lost $71.8 million, or 87 cents a share, from Jan. 17 through March 31 -- the period after the New York-based asset manager reorganized for its February initial public offering. The two weeks prior had yielded a per-unit profit of 36 cents. Shares slid 3.2% to $29.26.

New York's

Crystal River Capital

( CRZ) also sank on poor results. The mortgage investor fell 6 cents short of targets with first-quarter operating earnings of 59 cents a share. Shares traded 1.4% lower at $27.99.

Elsewhere, Atlanta-based

SunTrust Banks

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retreated 0.7% to $87.25 after it sold about 9% of its


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stake, or 4.5 million shares, in order to partially fund a planned share repurchase of between $750 million and $1 billion.

The KBW Bank Index harbors SunTrust, but it still shot up 0.9% to 117.42.