Citigroup: Financial Winner (Update 1)

Updated with market closing information.

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) - Citigroup ( C) was the winner on a very strong day for U.S. financial names, with shares rising 8% to close at $26.59.

Bank stocks opened strong fashion for the Columbus Day holiday, as investors cheered the announcement by German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy of a coming "comprehensive package" to solve the euro zone sovereign debt crisis.

The broad indexes showed 3% gains on a day that also saw an agreement by Dexia to be broken up, with its Belgian banking business nationalized and the holding company left with a bond portfolio in run-off.

The KBW Bank Index ( I:BKX) rose over 5% to close at 37.46, with all 24 index components showing strong gains.

Shares of Morgan Stanley ( MS) rose over 7%, to close at $15.29.

Large U.S. financial names seeing 6% gains included Bank of America ( BAC), closing at $6.28; Bank of New York Mellon ( BK), closing at $18.85; Comerica ( CMA), at $24.82; Huntington Bancshares ( HBAN), at $5.25; Regions Financial ( RF), at $3.62; and Wells Fargo, which closed at $26.13.

According to a report in the Palm Beach Post, Bank of America was offering up to $20,000 to homeowners to pursue short-sales on underwater properties in order to avoid foreclosure.

Big banking names seeing shares rise 5% early Monday included BB&T ( BBT), closing at $22.02; Commerce Bancshares ( CBSH), at $37.13; Capital One ( COF), at $41.90; JPMorgan Chase ( JPM), at $32.30; and KeyCorp ( KEY), at $6.47; PNC Financial Services ( PNC), at $50.30; and State Street ( STT), which closed at $33.23.

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

To contact the writer, click here: Philip van Doorn.

To follow the writer on Twitter, go to http://twitter.com/PhilipvanDoorn.

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 TheStreet.com 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.

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