Investors took it as a good sign that Fannie Mae said it would finally catch up and become current in its financial reporting by February.
Forecasting the light at the end of the tunnel led the government-sponsored enterprise's shares up 3.7% Monday.
Fannie also said it would hold a meeting for shareholders in December, which would be its first since May 2004. It has been behind in filing financial statements since it restated its earnings from 2001 to 2004.
Following the lead of its fellow GSE, Freddie Mac said it would file its quarterly statements on time when it announces first-quarter results Thursday. Freddie fell behind in its reporting in 2003 when it was found to have accounting problems similar to Fannie's.
Freddie's stock rose 1.5%.
The American Banker index of 225 bank stocks rose 0.18%, but the thrift index dropped 0.12%.
The Standard & Poor's 500 added 0.1%, while the Dow Jones industrial average was flat.
Shares of Wachovia Corp. rose 1.2% after an analyst upgraded it to "outperform," from "market perform," citing its success in California.
Gary B. Townsend of Friedman, Billings, Ramsey & Co. Inc. wrote in a research note issued Monday that Wachovia booked 38,000 net new checking accounts in California in the first quarter. The Charlotte company entered the state with its purchase of Golden West Financial Corp. in October.
Mr. Townsend also wrote that he expects Wachovia to raise its dividend by 5 cent a share, to 61 cents.
Colonial BancGroup Inc. of Montgomery, Ala., also gained ground Monday after it said that its board had approved a $150 million buyback. Its shares rose 1.1%.
Decliners among financial stocks included IndyMac Bancorp Inc. of Pasadena, Calif., 3%; FNB United Corp. of Asheboro, N.C., 2.6%; and Oriental Financial Group Inc. of San Juan, Puerto Rico, 2.5%.