Updated from 1:10 p.m. EDT

Financial stocks were crawling beneath the sunken major indices Thursday thanks to resurfacing credit worries and sliding names like Global Cash Access ( GCA).

The Las Vegas-based lender tumbled 19.7% after predicting third-quarter cash earnings of just 12 cents a share -- 6 cents short of Thomson Financial's estimates. Second-quarter cash earnings were in line, but shares were still off $2.99 to $12.21.

Online broker eSpeed ( ESPD), based in New York, dropped 2% after announcing that an accounting-policy review will probably delay its quarterly filing and might result in a noncash charge of up to $4 million for 2002 through June 2007. Shares closed down 15 cents to $7.32 despite better-than-expected preliminary earnings.

And insurance giant American International Group ( AIG) was caught in the downward pull of the broad market even though second-quarter earnings handily topped targets. Shares saw erratic trading, mostly in the red, and closed down 3.3% to $64.30, helping to weigh on the NYSE Financial Sector Index, which plunged some 327 points, or 3.5%, to 8981.83. The KBW Bank Index slid 4%.

H&R Block ( HRB), meanwhile, lost 3.9% to $19.73 after saying that the sale of its subprime-mortgage-lending unit, Option One Mortgage, might not close until the fiscal third quarter -- on or before Dec. 31 -- due to expanded related restructuring efforts. The tax preparer said that it nevertheless continues to work toward a fiscal second-quarter closing date.

On the upside today, Nasdaq Stock Market ( NDAQ) jumped on news that the newly formed Borse Dubai has made a competitive conditional offer for a 25% stake in OMX, a Nordic exchange that the Nasdaq agreed to buy outright in May. Nasdaq shares closed up 3.4% to $32.56 on speculation that the OMX-Nasdaq deal could be scrapped in favor of a larger deal.

Elsewhere, insurance broker AmTrust Financial Services ( AFSI) made 30 cents a share in the second quarter (excluding realized gains), beating two analysts' second-quarter estimates by a nickel. Shares tacked on 75 cents earlier in the day but closed down 40 cents, or 2.8%, to $13.91.

Centerline's ( CHC) second-quarter profit gained a penny on last year to 6 cents a share, lifting the investment manager's shares by 3.6% to $14.14, and transaction processor MoneyGram International ( MGI) climbed 2.5% on a Credit Suisse upgrade to neutral from underperform.

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