Financial stocks rebounded Wednesday after an excruciating couple of days as bargain hunters emerged in droves.

Among the winners was

RAM Reinsurance

( RAMR), which had taken a nosedive yesterday on word its chief financial officer, Rick Lutenski, will resign effective Sept. 29. Today, shares of the Bermuda-based company pulled back up to jump 84 cents, or 10.2%, to $9.10.

LandAmerica Financial

( LFG) was also climbing on yesterday's postclose announcement that it will buy back up to 1.5 million more of its shares on top of the roughly 710,000 shares remaining from a prior program.

The Richmond, Va., insurer also expects ultimately to slash in the second half around 1,100 jobs, or roughly 13% of its residential and lender-service groups as of June 30, "as part of an effort to reduce costs in response to decreased mortgage loan originations and to improve operating efficiencies."

LandAmerica shares traded up 5.1% to $54.24 to help prop up the

NYSE

Financial Sector Index, which was leaping 1.3% to about 8,898.

Barclays

(BCS) - Get Report

, up 4% to mostly recover from yesterday's drop, also lent support to the index.

Rising at least 2.5% apiece, meanwhile, were fellow tracker components

Astoria Financial

(AF)

, broker

BlackRock

(BLK) - Get Report

and specialist firm

LaBranche

( LAB).

The KBW Bank Index was up 0.1% to about 104.

Elsewhere, fellow insurer

Arch Capital

(ACGL) - Get Report

, based in Bermuda, gained 3.2% after Stifel Nicolaus upped the stock to buy from hold. Shares tacked on $2.19 to $70.60.

On the flip side,

Arthur J. Gallagher

(AJG) - Get Report

was among the few financial stocks in the red after Bear Stearns cut the Itasca, Ill., insurance broker to underperform, citing overblown optimism on the part of investors. Shares were lately off 1% to $29.22.

And

Crystal River Capital

( CRZ) lost ground after filing for a $500 million periodic offering late Tuesday for stock, depositary shares, debt, warrants and units. Shares of the New York-based mortgage-investment firm gave up 23 cents, or 1.5%, to $14.78.