First Niagara: Financial Winner

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- First Niagara Financial Group ( FNFG) was the winner among large bank stocks Friday, with shares rising 1.5%, to close out the week at $14.40.

The broad indexes were mixed as investors reacted to continued drama over Berkshire Hathaway's ( BRK.B) disclosures of the timing of David Sokol's discussions with CEO Warren Buffett prior to Berkshires deal to acquire Lubrizol ( LZ), and negative research reports on technology names.

The KBW Bank Index ( BKX) was down slightly to 51.53.

First Niagara CEO John Koelmel discussed the Durbin Amendment in an exclusive interview with TheStreet on Thursday, following a discussion on his bank's expansion last week.

Large banks seeing shares rise 1% Friday included BB&T ( BBT), which closed at $26.92; Bank of New York Mellon ( BK), closing at $28.96; and U.S> Bancorp ( USB), which closed at $25.82.

Friday's loser among the largest U.S. banks was Regions Financial ( RF), with shares down 1% to close at $7.34, after Dow Jones Newswires reported Thursday that Regions subsidiary Morgan Keegan was among several parties settling fraud charges with the Securities and Exchange Commission over subprime securities investments by bond funds.


-- Written by Philip van Doorn in Jupiter, Fla.

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Philip W. van Doorn is a member of TheStreet's banking and finance team, commenting on industry and regulatory trends. He previously served as the senior analyst for Ratings, responsible for assigning financial strength ratings to banks and savings and loan institutions. Mr. van Doorn previously served as a loan operations officer at Riverside National Bank in Fort Pierce, Fla., and as a credit analyst at the Federal Home Loan Bank of New York, where he monitored banks in New York, New Jersey and Puerto Rico. Mr. van Doorn has additional experience in the mutual fund and computer software industries. He holds a bachelor of science in business administration from Long Island University.