Stifel Financial ( SF) surged 8% after the investment bank said it will buy Ryan Beck from parent company BankAtlantic Bancorp ( BBX). Stifel shares were trading up $3.16 to $41.25. BankAtlantic shares were losing 42 cents, or 3.1%, to $13.13.

Lazard ( LAZ) jumped on an upgrade by a Goldman Sachs analyst to buy from neutral. Shares of the asset-management firm were gaining $3.98, or 8.5%, to $51.07.

MasterCard ( MA) rose after an analyst with Lehman Brothers maintained the credit card company's overweight rating and raised its price target by $18 to $114. Shares were up $3.17, or 3.1%, to $104.25.

Citigroup ( C) dropped on word it will close about 80% of its Japanese consumer-lending operations due to recent unfavorable changes in the country's interest rate laws. Costs related to the shutdown are expected at about $40 million, bringing total fourth-quarter losses for the Japanese consumer-finance segment to roughly $370 million, or 7 cents a share. Shares were falling 57 cents, or 1%, to $54.48.

Freddie Mac ( FRE) slipped after the mortgage company said it will offer $500 million in preferred stock. Shares were down 39 cents to $65.54.

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