Citigroup: Financial Loser

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) - Citigroup ( C) was the loser among the largest U.S. banks on Wednesday, with shares pulling back 3% to close at $26.05.

SNL Financial reported that Citigroup had said in a Dec. 9 filing with the U.S. Labor Department that it would lay off 413 New York City employees, mainly in the company's Global Markets division.

The broad U.S. stock indexes declined, with European events continuing to drive the action. The euro fell below $1.2965, an 11-month low, amid fears of imminent ratings downgrades for several European countries. The dollar index, which measures the dollar against six currencies, was up earlier, to 0.27%.

It was another expensive day for the Italian government, which auctioned five-year paper at an average yield of 6.47%, while Italy's 10-year bonds were trading at yields of above 7%.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 132points. The KBW Bank Index ( I:BKX) was down 0.5% to close at 37.39, with 16 out of 24 index components down for the day.

Large U.S. banks seeing 2% declines on Wednesday included Bank of America ( BAC), which closed at $5.23; First Niagara Financial Group ( FNFG), at $8.51; and Goldman Sachs ( GS), closing at $93.25.

Wednesday's winner among large U.S. financials was JPMorgan Chase ( JPM), with shares rising 1% to close at $31.51. Reuters reported that a bankruptcy judge had allowed MF Global ( MF) to use $21 million in cash that had been pledged to JPMorgan, to finance MF Global's bankruptcy proceedings.

Late on Tuesday, during testimony in front of the Senate Agricultural Committee, CME Group ( CME) Executive Chairman Terrence Duffy said that former MF Global CEO and former New Jersey Senator and Governor Jon Corzine knew that segregated customer funds had been transferred "to the firm's broker-dealer accounts," before Oct. 31, apparently contradicting Corzine's earlier tesimony.

Shares of Wells Fargo ( WFC) were up 7% to close at $25.86, after JPMorgan Securities analyst Vivek Juneja reiterated his "Overweight" rating on the shares, with an aggressive $41 price target.

Interested in more on Wells Fargo? See TheStreet Ratings' report card for this stock.

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-- 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 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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