Financial stocks were mixed Thursday on another day of high volatility for the overall market. The KBW Bank index advanced 1.9%, while the NYSE Financial Sector index dropped 7.9%. The Amex Securities Broker/Dealer index was up 3.7%. A final-hour rally in the stock market lifted the sector indices off lower levels. Among individual stocks, Merrill Lynch ( MER), which is being acquired by Bank of America ( BAC), added 0.6% to $18.35 after it reported a third-quarter loss from continuing operations of $5.1 billion, or $5.56 a share. BofA was up 1.9%. Citigroup ( C) had a third-quarter loss of $2.8 billion, or 60 cents a share, but that was narrower than the loss of 70 cents analysts had been anticipating. Still, the stock lost 2%. Regional banks Huntington Bancshares ( HBAN), BB&T ( BBT) and PNC Financial ( PNC) also released their quarterly numbers. BB&T and PNC both reported earnings that fell from a year ago and from the most recent quarter, but Huntington's profits rose sequentially. Huntington gained 10.2%, and BB&T was up 3.4%. PNC was slightly weaker.