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.

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This article appears in: Investing , Commodities

Referenced Stocks: SIEB , RJF , ING

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