Financial Sector Still Leading Markets Higher; Siebert Financial Easing From Buyout-Speculation Gains


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Financial stocks were adding to their earlier gains today with the NYSE Financial Sector Index climbing 0.5% and the S&P Financial 100 Index advancing 1.2% near the closing bell.

In company news, Siebert Financial Corp. ( SIEB ) shares returned slightly closer to Earth Thursday, declining today following a 59% advance Wednesday after people with knowledge of the matter told Bloomberg News the discount broker is exploring a sale.

The company's founder - Muriel Siebert, best known as the first woman to buy a seat on the New York Stock Exchange - died of complications from cancer last August at age 84. She started Muriel Siebert & Co., in 1969 and retooled it as a discount brokerage in 1975 as Wall Street began to negotiate trading commissions rather than adhering to fixed rates.

The brokerage reportedly is working with Raymond James Financial Inc. ( RJF ) in its search for a buyer. A $50 million price tag is possible, the sources told the news service, suggesting a share price of around $2.26 each.

SIEB shares were down 11.7% at $2.86 apiece in recent trade, falling 38 cents from yesterday's closing price that followed the stock jumping $1.20 a share - or 58.8% - from the prior session.

The stock has a 52-week range of $1.35 to $4.45 a share, which followed a 51% intra-day spike on Feb. 3, again likely following take-over speculation for the thinly traded shares.

In other sector news,

(+) VOYA, Prices 26.5 million shares of its common stock previously held by ING Group ( ING ) at $35.23 per share. VOYA also intends to buy back 7.25 million of its shares from ING for $250 million, dropping ING's ownership stake to 45%.

(-) ORI, Cancels planned recapitalization by its RMICC mortgage-guaranty subsidiary, citing "a lack of success in attracting capital-markets funding."

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc.

Copyright (C) 2014 All rights reserved. Unauthorized reproduction is strictly prohibited.

This article appears in: Investing , Commodities

Referenced Stocks: SIEB , RJF , ING

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