Citi, Santander: Financial Winners & Losers

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Financial stocks were mixed Thursday following Wednesday's big rally.

The Financial Select Sector SPDR ( XLF), a popular exchange traded fund that tracks financial stocks, was down 0.17% in early afternoon trading on average volumes.

The largest U.S. financial companies were generally lower. JPMorgan Chase ( JPM) shares were down 0.16%, Wells Fargo ( WFC) was down 0.05% to $31.99, and Bank of America ( BAC) shares were down 0.73% to $14.88 after Citigroup analyst Keith Horowitz removed the stock from a list called "top picks live," which, according to Horowitz's note "encompasses short-term catalyst driven stocks."

Horowitz retains a longer-term buy rating on the stock and an $18 target price, but he worries analyst estimates for 2011 are too high. Also, he believes Bank of America stock's near term performance "could be impacted by ongoing noise from mortgage repurchase issues."

Raymond James analyst Anthony Polini raised his target price on Bank of America to $24 from $21. He argues Bank of America will meet, or exceed, Wall Street earnings estimates when it reports results Friday the 21st, driven by credit improvements and improved investment banking revenues. Polini also believes Bank of America will "very likely" manage to increase its dividend later this year, according to a research report published after Wednesday's close.

One exception to the mild selloff in U.S. banks was Citigroup ( C), shares of which were up 0.30% to $5.10. Citigroup volumes of 382 million in the early afternoon compared to trailing daily three month volumes of 547 million.

European bank stocks were stronger for a second straight day following successful debt offerings by Spain and Italy, coming on the heels of a successful sale by Portugal on Wednesday. U.S.-listed shares of Spain's Banco Santander ( STD) were up 4.32% on volumes of 18 million, compared to a trailing full day three month average volume of 10 million.

-- Written by Dan Freed in New York.

Disclosure: TheStreet's editorial policy prohibits staff editors, reporters and analysts from holding positions in any individual stocks.

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