The financial sector managed a halting climb out of the gate Friday, but ultimately lost yet more ground as the ripening subprime debacle continued to play itself out.MBIA ( MBI) shares got kicked even lower after the bond insurer announced that Moody's is mulling a cut of its vital triple-A insurance financial-strength rating, as well as those of its insurance affiliates. Also on review for possible downgrade, among other things, are the Aa2 ratings of the surplus bonds MBIA
Elsewhere, NYSE Euronext ( NYX) climbed 1.5% to $72.14 after saying it agreed to
buy out the American Stock Exchange for $260 million in stock, plus additional NYSE shares based on proceeds from the planned sale of Amex's New York headquarters. Fellow bourse IntercontinentalExchange ( ICE), which deals in futures and commodities, was rising 3.9% at $136.02. And Nymex ( NMX), another commodities exchange, was up 7% to $96.17 on an upgrade to outperform at BMO Capital Markets.