Updated from 2:02 p.m. EDT
The financial sector was flush with winners Wednesday as reams of upbeat earnings news kept the industry largely in step with the rest of the climbing market.
, most notably, leapt 10% to $126.35 after the credit-card company flattened first-quarter Wall Street estimates. The Purchase, N.Y., firm said it made 67% more than last year at $1.57 a share on revenue that surged 23.9% to $915 million. Analysts polled by Thomson Financial sought $1.16 a share on $842.37 million in revenue.
These numbers helped lift the
Financial Sector Index, of which MasterCard is a component, by 75.49 points, or 0.7=8%, to 9,815.21. The KBW Bank Index, which tracks large banks, was up only 0.3% at 116.64, lagging behind the broader market.
Elsewhere, a number of insurers and health care names issued positive results, among them
, shares of which shot up 10.6% to $32.84 after coming in 4 cents above Wall Street's 30-cent per-share target. Life-insurance behemoth
gained 1.4% to $66.77 on a 13-cent EPS beat, and
Infinity Property and Casualty
was 12 cents ahead. Its shares jumped 10.9%, or $5.15, to $52.43.
added 1.8% to $72.05 on better-than-expected top- and bottom-line results in the first quarter, and likewise for
, which jumped 8.5% to $31.14.
said first-quarter profits soared 142.4% from last year to 80 cents a share, or $55.6 million --
analysts' 71-cent per-share estimates. Average daily volume, moreover, nearly doubled year over year to 1.2 million contracts. Shares climbed 3.5% to $127.26.
Chicago Board of Trade
meanwhile reported a 7% rise in April total volume to some 61 million contracts. In that same month, online broker
reported daily average revenue trades gaining 5% on last year. CBOT shares were up 1.7% to $187.58; TradeStation was up 3% at $12.21.
Among the few financial losers Wednesday was
American Capital Strategies
, a Maryland-based asset manager that sank 5.5% to $45.61 after first-quarter operating income slid 4 cents from last year to 73 cents a share. Bermuda-based
said adjusted operating income totaled 38 cents a share, which just missed first-quarter Street expectations. Shares lost 49 cents, or 2%, to $23.80.
Suffering from negative analyst research was
, which slipped 0.8% to $82.69 after Banc of America slapped a sell rating on the newly merged exchange, citing concerns on the process of fully combining the two companies, among other things. And
fell 2% after Friedman Billings cut the Connecticut-based bank to market perform from outperform. Shares were down 31 cents to $15.18.