Updated from 2:48 p.m. EDT

The financial sector tumbled into the red along with the rest of the market Tuesday amid a flood of fresh earnings reports.

Countrywide Financial led the charge downhill, sliding 10.5%, after the housing market's continuing travails battered the California lender's second-quarter profit. Per-share income totaled 81 cents -- a 29.6% slide from last year -- and its full-year outlook was slashed to range between $2.70 and $3.30 a share vs. $3.50 to $4.30 previously.

Countrywide shares lost $3.56 to $30.50 and took a number of mortgage lenders down with it. Subprime lenders Accredited Home Lenders and Fremont General respectively plunged 15.1% and 18.2%, and IndyMac Bancorp shed 5.4% in unusually heavy volume.

Also among Tuesday's suffering financial stocks was Security Capital Assurance ( SCA), shares of which sank 15.2% to $24.46 after the Bermuda-based insurer about halved its second-quarter per-share earnings to 40 cents a share from a year ago.

Maryland's CapitalSource ( CSE) lost 8.8% after saying it will offer $300 million in senior subordinated convertible bonds, with an underwriters' option for another $45 million worth, and credit-card companies Discover Financial Services ( DFS - Get Report) and American Express ( AXP - Get Report) were each losing ground, as well.

Citigroup slapped a sell rating on Discover, pulling shares down 4.3% at $25; and American Express reported a sizable year-over-year profit jump to best second-quarter estimates from Thomson Financial, but also said its provision for losses soared by 36% year over year to $993 million. Friedman Billings cut the stock to market perform from outperform.

American Express shares gave up 5.4% and fellow credit-card firm Capital One ( COF - Get Report) followed suit with a 3.5% loss that sagged on the KBW Bank Index, recently down 3% to underperform the broad indices. All but one of the above names worked to deflate the NYSE Financial Sector Index, which was off by 2.3%.

New York brokerage Greenhill ( GHL - Get Report) more than tripled its second-quarter per-share profit to $1.47 a share from last year and upped its quarterly dividend by 52% to 38 cents a share. Revenue totaled $140.6 million, which roars past the $87.9 million mean target. Shares climbed 1.9% earlier in the day but closed down 1.7%, or $1.01, to $58.99.

Elsewhere, Evercore Partners ( EVR - Get Report) traded actively after Keefe Bruyette upped its rating to outperform, citing severe undervaluation. The New York-based asset manager was up earlier in the day but closed down 2.4%, or 63 cents, at $25.38.