A slew of less than encouraging economic reports outweighed strong quarters from
, as financial stocks slid on Tuesday.
MasterCard shares skyrocketed 12.6% to $272.93 when it reported on Tuesday that its profit more than doubled as customers turn to credit cards in the weak economy. Cardholder spending rose in the U.S., but more moderately than the increases seen in emerging markets. Shares of MasterCard have risen a whopping 117% over the last year.
Visa announced its earnings after the close on Monday. The San Francisco-based card company enjoyed a first quarter rise in profit of 28%. The stock initially fell as investors were disappointed that the solid quarter wasn't even stronger, but had recovered in the afternoon to see its shares trade up 4% to $78.62.
But consumer confidence fell in April and the February S&P/Case-Shiller survey showed sliding existing single-family homes. The
Financial Sector index was declining 53.42 to 7,749.17.
was keeping its head above water, despite turning an $893 million loss for the first quarter. The mortgage lender blamed the loss on the sharp increase in its provision against unpaid residential loans. Still, the stock was treading water, up 2 cents at $5.85.
Bank of America
earlier this year agreed to acquire Countrywide in January for roughly $4 billion in stock, a deal expected to close in the third quarter.
Writedowns hit two German financial companies.
reported a loss in the first quarter as a result of a 2.7 billion euro writedown, resulting in the bank's first quarterly loss in five years. The Frankfurt-based bank lost $1.03 on Tuesday, sending shares down 1% to $119.31.
admitted that it would take a hit of 900 million euros as a result of its structured product exposure in its
arm. The Munich-based financial company expects to be profitable, but earnings will be significantly lower. The stock was trading at $20.20, a decrease of 31 cents.
Elsewhere, it was auto finance dragging down earnings as GMAC Financial Services, in which
owns a minority stake, noted that it was cars not homes pulling down business in the first quarter. GMAC, whose majority owner is private equity firm
Cerberus Capital Management
, saw its mortgage business struggle in the fourth quarter. GM shares were losing 43 cents to $21.51.
And finally, regional broker
dropped 10.3% to $11.44, even after recording a 46% jump in it quarterly profit. The New York-based broker beat analyst estimates and experienced strong revenue over all regions. But investors worried over the defection of 22 traders sent the stock spiraling down on Tuesday.