Marsh & McLennan ( MMC) gained after the New York-based insurance broker reported a big surge in third-quarter earnings. The company posted net income of $176 million, or 31 cents a share, compared with $69 million, or 12 cents a share, a year ago. Excluding a series of onetime items and charges, the firm earned 38 cents a share. Wall Street was looking for earnings of 35 cents a share. Shares were up 84 cents, or 2.8%, to $30.28.

Healthcare Realty Trust ( HR) slipped after the Nashville, Tenn.-based real estate investment trust was downgraded by Ryan, Beck & Co. to market perform from outperform. Shares fell 55 cents, or 1.4%, to $39.95.

MarketAxess Holdings ( MKTX) gained after the New York-based brokerage reported an 8% rise in third-quarter earnings. The company earned $1.3 million, or 4 cents a share, up from $1.2 million, or 3 cents a share, a year ago. Revenue rose 9% to $20.8 million. Wall Street was looking for 4 cents a share on revenue of $20.75 million. Total trading volume increased 22% to $83.8 billion. Shares gained 15 cents, or 1.3%, to $11.40.

Capital Trust ( CT) gained after the New York-based REIT was upgraded by Stifel Nicolaus to buy from hold. Shares were trading up 64 cents, or 1.4%, to $45.15.

Thomas Weisel Partners ( TWPG), which went public earlier this year, reported that it swung to a profit in the third quarter. The San Francisco-based investment firm earned $1.5 million, or 6 cents a share, compared to a loss of $2.2 million in the year ago period. On an operating basis, which excludes certain one-time costs, the firm said it earned $2.8 million, or 11 share. On that basis, the boutique investment firm matched the Thomson Financial consensus estimate. Shares were trading up 76 cents, or 4.8%, to $16.77.

New Century Financial ( NEW) gained after the Irvine, Calif.-based mortgage lender said it hired Taj Bindra to serve as chief financial officer. He replaces current CFO Patti Dodge, who will move to the role of executive vice president of investor relations, effective Nov. 15. Shares were trading up 44 cents, or 1.1%, to $39.82.

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