E*Trade Financial Corp., the worst performer in the Standard & Poor's 500 Index last year, sold $3 billion of mortgage-backed securities and municipal bonds to bolster its finances.
The sale was completed at a loss of less than $5 million, the New York-based online brokerage said in a statement today. E*Trade also said it's ``aggressively'' reducing risks from real- estate loan holdings and shuttered the institutional equities trading division.
E*Trade rose 7.1 percent on the Nasdaq Stock Market after falling to an 11-year low yesterday on concern the company may post more mortgage losses when it reports fourth-quarter earnings later this month. Clients' cash balances were unchanged from a month earlier, easing concern about customer defections.