Updated from 1:53 p.m. EDTFinancial stocks were climbing higher than most ahead of this Tuesday's highly anticipated rate-cut decision from the Federal Reserve, and individual names like Lehman Brothers ( LEH) also helped to lighten the mood. The broker's shares gained 10% to $64.49 on third-quarter earnings that were
A number of nonprime-mortgage concerns were also on the decline today, among them Impac Mortgage ( IMH). Shares slid 5.7% to $1.66 after the Irvine, Calif., company said it will exit the Alt-A mortgage business and lay off 144 employees due to the "severe dislocation of the market place," including "unprecedented" margin calls. Moreover, Impac doesn't expect to pay common-stock dividends for the rest of the year. NovaStar Financial ( NFI) will shed its REIT status retroactive to Jan. 1, 2006, after
canceling its dividend , which was required at around $157 million in 2006 taxable income. NovaStar blamed its precipitous stock-price decline over the past few months, liquidity struggles and other factors. Shares of the Kansas City, Mo., company gave up 2.6% to $8.03. Elsewhere, Accredited Home Lenders ( LEND), of San Diego, Calif., closed down 4.9% after filing its delayed first-quarter financials, which revealed it had swung to a big loss -- $260.2 million, or $10.29 a share, compared with a profit of $35.8 million, or $1.61 a share, a year earlier. The company also said it cannot assure investors it will continue to operate as a going concern, citing "significant challenges due to adverse conditions in the non-prime mortgage industry." Shares closed at $9.78.