Updated from 11:55 a.m. EDTFinancial stocks closed below their best levels of the session Wednesday, but the group on the whole was in the green by the time trading ended. A number of widely held individual shares opened strong, weakened in the afternoon, then rebounded a bit to finish the day in positive territory. The KBW Bank index rose 3% to 23.34. Earlier it was higher by more than 7%. Dow Jones Industrial Average components Citigroup ( C), Bank of America ( BAC) and JPMorgan Chase ( JPM) advanced.
Morgan Stanley was up $1.67, or 8%, at $22.51, and US Bancorp added $1.02, or 9%, to $12.42. Wells tacked on 7 cents to $11.88. Among the bigger financial losers was Dow stock American Express ( AXP), which Goldman downgraded to a sell rating because of a weak outlook for consumers and credit-card debt. Its shares declined 24 cents, or 2%, to $11.93.