On the whole, financial stocks slung beneath the broad indices Monday as a slew of stocks got clobbered with analyst downgrades.

Getting slashed to sell at UBS, for instance, were credit-card companies Discover ( DFS - Get Report), down 9.2%; Capital One ( COF - Get Report), down 7.3%; and American Express ( AXP - Get Report), which lost 3.1%. UBS also cut Spain-based Banco Santander to neutral from buy, prodding shares down 2.2% to $17.64.

Meanwhile, Marshall & Ilsley surrendered 5.8% to $27.31 on a cut to hold from buy at Stifel Nicolaus, and the broker also slapped sell stickers on Wells Fargo ( WFC - Get Report), Colonial Bancorp and SunTrust ( STI). Shares of the banks were down at least 3% apiece.

Not even a rare upbeat analyst note could shake losses from Lehman Brothers , Goldman Sachs ( GS), Merrill Lynch , and Bear Stearns .

Richard Bove, an analyst at Punk Ziegel, said that improving market conditions should give legs to these companies in particular. He specifically cited lower interest rates and a return of lenders to the commercial paper markets, among other things. He upgraded Lehman to buy from market perform, and the rest got a boost to market perform from sell.

Still, Lehman dropped 4% to $63.35; Goldman was down 3.2% to $201.14; Merrill gave up 1.3% to $57.66; and Bear shares shed $2.45, or 2.6%, to $90.44.

Elsewhere in the red, Keefe Bruyette & Woods ( KBW) stock traded down 6.3% to $27.01 ahead of tomorrow's scheduled earnings report.

On the winning side, IntercontinentalExchange ( ICE - Get Report) added 1.4% after total average daily volume at ICE Futures surged 30% year over year in January to some 991,000 contracts. Shares of the Atlanta-based exchange were up $1.96 to $137.40.

And fellow bourse NYSE Euronext ( NYX) ran up 1.3% to $113.68 ahead of tomorrow's earnings report.

More broadly, the NYSE Financial Sector Index was sliding some 146 points, or 1.8%, to 7,951.13. The Amex Securities Broker-Dealer Index was off 2.6% to 206.37.