Financial stocks, cheered by the buoyant broad market, largely enjoyed a day in the green Thursday. Among the solid winners was Citigroup ( C), which climbed 3% even though the New York banking giant revealed it had sold $3 billion in senior bonds. Citi disclosed the sale this morning, though news had first broken after market close yesterday. Shares were up $1.40 to $48.54. That move helped prop up both the NYSE Financial Sector Index, up 0.8% to 9,715.9, and the KBW Bank Index, which jumped 1% to about 200. Real estate investment trusts SL Green Realty ( SLG), of New York, and BRE Properties ( BRE), of San Francisco, were upped to buy-equivalent ratings at Stifel Nicolaus and Credit Suisse, respectively. Shares were adding 1.9% and 1.2%. Sallie Mae ( SLM), meanwhile, ticked up despite swinging to a loss of $344 million, or 85 cents a share, vs. last year's profit of 73 cents a share. "Core earnings" came to $305 million, or 70 cents a share before one-time items, including $18 million related to its ill-fated merger agreement with a J.C.-Flowers led buyer group. The Reston, Va., education lender also said that quarter's loan originations were up 13% year over year to $8.9 million. Shares recently tacked on 1.5% to $49.38. In more earnings, M&T Bank ( MTB) posted a slightly lower third-quarter profit of $199.2 million, or $1.83 a share, that came in a dime under the average analyst target. Shares of the Buffalo, N.Y., bank traded in and out of the red before lately rising 0.6% at $105.95.