Updated from 2:49 p.m. EST with new stock pricesAmid another generally volatile day for Wall Street Monday, the financial sector took a mid-morning plunge before getting above water just before noon, only to take yet another slide: the NYSE Financial Sector Index was down fractionally at 7,914.06. Throughout the trading day, NYSE tracker component Jefferies Group ( JEF), a New York-based broker, remained mired in the red after it estimated
Sovereign Bancorp ( SOV) traded mostly lower after Friedman Billings slashed $6 off its price target to $8, citing its belief that the firm will be hit particularly hard by the credit crunch this year. Following a rough start, Sovereign shares poked into the green around early afternoon, but ended easing 1.7% at $10.25. Also losing ground recently were online broker E*Trade ( ETFC), down 12.4%; mortgage lender Countrywide ( CFC), down 9.3%; and asset manager Blackstone ( BX), which was losing 4.3%. Among the stalwart winners today was fraught student lender Sallie Mae ( SLM), which
resumed a separation of the CEO and chairman roles following a brief period in which Albert Lord acted as both. Lord remains CEO but was shifted to vice chairman of the board, and newcomer Anthony Terracciano has taken the chairman position. In addition, Sallie alum John Remondi is returning as vice chairman and CFO. Shares were gaining $1.16, or 7%, to $17.83. Elsewhere, Citigroup ( C) shares saw some mixed trading after CNBC reported that the New York bank might lay off between 5% and 10% of its staff, according to people familiar with the situation, as part of a restructuring plan currently being developed by recently installed CEO Vikram Pandit. Shares dipped into the red this morning, but ended up 0.1% to $28.26. Other significant financial gainers included banks National City ( NCC) and Huntington Bancshares ( HBAN), as well as credit-card company Capital One ( COF). Shares were up 1% or more in support of the KBW Bank Index, which climbed 0.9% to 83.97.