SWS Group ( SWS) rocketed more than 20% after the Dallas-based broker posted a $12.9 million profit from continuing operations in the quarter ended Dec. 29. On a per-share basis, the company earned 48 cents. Last year, SWS made $8.1 million, or 33 cents a share. Shares were up $5.13 to $30.09.

Lazard ( LAZ) trounced estimates by 15 cents a share, with fourth-quarter earnings leaping 37% year over year to $85.8 million, or 78 cents a share. The asset-management firm was gaining $3.13, or 6%, to $55.36.

XL Capital ( XL) was higher after the insurer swung to a fourth-quarter profit of $471.1 million, or $2.62 a share, from a loss of $821.9 million, or $5.51 a share, a year ago. Shares were up $2.47, or 3.5%, to $73.14.

NetBank ( NTBK) sank after predicting its fourth-quarter losses will fall "well below" its previous forecast for a loss of between 74 cents and 87 cents a share. The online bank said a reorganization plan, already in effect, will generate "marked improvement" in its first-quarter earnings. However, shares were losing 23 cents, or 6%, to $3.60.