Updated from 2:15 p.m. EDTThe financial sector swung even lower than the sliding broader market on Tuesday as a few big names brought disappointing financials to bear. Lazard ( LAZ), for instance, gave up 1% to $53.35 in heavy trading after first-quarter income sank 7.8% year over year to 47 cents a share. Analysts polled by Thomson Financial were looking for the Bermuda-based financial advisement and asset management firm to deliver 62 cents a share. Marsh & McLennan ( MMC), a New York-based insurance broker, also lost ground on a wide income miss. First-quarter continuing-operations profits came to $228 million, or 41 cents a share -- 9 cents a share under Street expectations. Shares shed 2.5% to $31.13. Meanwhile, Germany's Deutsche Bank ( DB) and Louisiana-based insurer Amerisafe ( AMSF) each sank despite posting climbing first-quarter profits. Shares of the companies respectively lost 1.1% and 10%. Joining them in the dirges today were the majority of financial stocks, among them IntercontinentalExchange ( ICE), down 1.8% to $134.70; Swiss bank UBS ( UBS), off 1.9% to $62.70; and online broker E*Trade ( ETFC), recently sinking 2.1% to $21.95. The NYSE Financial Sector Index, which tracks all but one of the aforementioned stocks, surrendered38.53 points, or 0.4%, to 9869.17. The KBW Bank Index was was down 0.3% to 117.40.
Life insurer Universal American Financial ( UHCO) was one of the few financial winners Tuesday, jumping 13.4% to $20.99 after agreeing to buy MemberHealth for around $630 million in cash and stock. The deal should close in the third quarter. Boston's Safety Insurance ( SAFT) rose 6.3% to $43.60 after first-quarter earnings totaled $1.53 a share, comfortably topping Wall Street projections. Elsewhere, MasterCard ( MA) added 2.2% to $137.05 after UBS started coverage of the credit-card issuer with a buy rating, and KeyBanc Capital Markets upped Cincinnati Financial ( CINF) to buy, citing possible positive ripple effects from Liberty Mutual's planned acquisition of Ohio Casualty announced on Monday. Cincinnati Financial tacked on 1.7% to $47.62. Other top financial performers Tuesday included Delta Financial ( DFC), climbing 8.4% to $10.88 despite a first-quarter earnings miss; fellow mortgage lender Countrywide Financial ( CFC), up 7.2% to $41.28; and credit-services firm Moody's ( MCO), rising 4.1% to $68.23.