First Niagara Bucks Trend on Rough Day for Bank Stocks

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of First Niagara Financial Group (FNFG) on Friday were up 0.9% to close at $8.64, which was quite a contrast to the slide for most other bank stocks.

The positive vibes from Thursday's report of strong fourth-quarter GDP growth in the United States couldn't keep domestic markets from following overseas markets lower, with renewed pressure on several emerging market currencies, including those of Hungary, Turkey, South Africa, Russia and Poland.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down nearly 1%, while the S&P 500 gave up 0.7% and the NASDAQ Composite ended 0.5% lower.

Disappointing earnings results didn't help. Shares of Amazon (AMZN) were down 11% to 358.69, after the world's largest Internet retailer reported fourth-quarter earnings of $239 million, or 51 cents a share, which was well shy of the consensus EPS estimate 66 cents among analysts polled by Thomson Reuters. Jim Cramer said it was "no time to panic on Amazon," after a "classic freak-out," and that as the retailer will be more profitable when it raises prices on Amazon Prime.

Domestic economic news was mixed, with the Bureau of Economic Analysis saying personal spending during December had risen 0.4% in December from November, slightly ahead of the consensus estimate of a 0.3% increase. But personal income during December increased less than 0.1%. Economists had expected a 0.2% increase in personal income. Disposal personal income (DPI) was down by $3.8 billion, or less than 0.1%.

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