First Niagara: Financial Winner

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- First Niagara Financial Group ( FNFG) was the winner on Friday among large U.S. financials, shares rising over 2% to close at $9.79.

First Niagara is scheduled to report its third-quarter financial results next Thursday, with analysts polled by FactSet expecting the company to post earnings of 26 cents a share, increasing from 22 cents in the third quarter of 2010.

Bank stocks were mixed on a day that saw a violent clash between Occupy Wall Street protestors and New York City police.

The KBW Bank Index ( I:BKX) rose 1% to close at 38.01.

Wells Fargo ( WFC) was also up over 2% to close at $26.67. The San Francisco lender will report its third-quarter results on Monday, with analysts expecting EPS of 72 cents, increasing from 70 cents the previous quarter and 60 cents a year earlier.

Large banks ending the week with 2% gains included Citigroup ( C), closing at $28.08, and State Street ( STT), which closed at $33.80.

Citigroup will also report its third-quarter results on Monday, with the consensus among analysts polled by FactSet for the company to report third-quarter EPS of 82 cents, declining from $1.09 in the second quarter, but rising from 72 cents in the third quarter of 2010.

State Street is scheduled to report its third-quarter financial results on Tuesday, with analysts polled by FactSet expecting the company to post earnings of 89 cents a share, declining from EPS of a dollar the previous quarter and $1.08 in the third quarter of 2010.

Shares of JPMorgan Chase ( JPM) rose 1% to close at $13.81, following Thursday's 5% decline, after the company opened the third-quarter earnings season for banks by reporting an 11% quarter-over-quarter revenue decline.

FBR Capital Markets analyst Paul Miller reiterated his "Outperform," or "Buy" rating for JPMorgan, saying the company was likely to ""to continue to take market share and buy back stock with excess cash flow," and was well-positioned to meet enhanced Basel III capital requirements.

Other Large banks rounding out the week with 1% gains included Bank of New York Mellon ( BK), closing at $18.99; Fifth Third Bancorp ( FITB), at $11.34; and U.S. Bancorp ( USB), which closed at $24.57.

Commerce Bancshares ( CBSH) was down 2% to close at $36.36, following the previous session's 4% decline. The company on Thursday reported reported a sharp decline in its third-quarter net interest margin and warned of a significant decline in fourth-quarter fee income as a result of the Federal Reserve's new rules that went into effect on October 1, limiting the interchange fees charged to merchants to process debit card purchases as required by the Durbin Amendment.


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

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

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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.

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