Updated from 2:12 p.m. EDT

Financial stocks closed mixed despite rallies by several big names on Monday, as investors took heart in Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's comment in an interview aired over the weekend that the recession could end this year.

Bernanke, speaking on "60 Minutes," Sunday night, said he thought the banking system "will get ... stabilized, and we'll see the recession coming to an end probably this year."

The Fed chief's comments came after a week in which CEOs of banks including Citigroup ( C), Bank of America ( BAC) and JPMorgan Chase ( JPM) expressed growing optimism about their prospects.

Citi, which named four new directors on Monday, saw shares skyrocket 30.9% to $2.33. BofA stock jumped 7.3% to $6.18. Conversely, JPMorgan shares closed down 2.8% to $23.09. Wells Fargo shares finished 1.7% lower to $13.70.

The NYSE Financial Sector Index was down fractionally to 2,608.

Shares of major insurers also soared Monday, led by American International Group ( AIG), as the embattled company disclosed the names of its trading partners that indirectly benefited from federal aid it received.

AIG shares jumped 66% to 83 cents.

Other big gainers included MetLife ( MET), which rose 8.1% to $19.17, and Prudential Financial ( PRU), which rallied 1.8% to $19.10.
Copyright 2009 TheStreet.com Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. AP contributed to this report.

If you liked this article you might like

Fed Pares $4.5 Trillion Balance Sheet But Easy-Money Era Isn't Over

Bank Stocks Move Higher as Fed Decides to Start Unwinding Balance Sheet

Bank Stocks Move Higher Ahead of Federal Reserve Meeting

All Eyes on the Godfather of Central Banking as Fed Has Huge Meeting This Week

The Stock Market Stinks and the Stench Is Going to Get Much Worse Soon