Financial stocks were higher, with the NYSE Financial Sector
Index rising about 0.3% and the S&P Financial 100 Index
climbing about 0.5%.
In company news, shares of Essex Property Trust Inc. (
) were lower this afternoon, retreating after earlier reaching a
new 52-week high and shaking off any apparent ill effect of a
downgrade to Hold from Buy at Stifel Nicolas, citing valuation.
The research shop also removed its $165 price target for the
In a new research note Wednesday, Stifel analyst Rond Petrik
wrote ESS shares have already breached his previous target price as
well as projections for a net asset value of up to $168, adding,
"We do not feel compelled to chase the stock given the volatility
in the market."
ESS shares were down 1.6% at $169.10 apiece in mid-day trade,
earlier climbing to a new 52-week high of $173.01 during the first
hour of Wednesday's session. The stock is up nearly 21% since Dec.
19 when the real estate investment trust proposed to merge with BRE
) in a stock swap valued at around $14.5 billion.
In other sector news,
(+) KKR, (+0.1%) Announces final closing of the $2 bln KKR
Energy Income and Growth Fund I, which will invest in
unconventional oil and gas resources in North America.
(-) BKU, (-1.4%) Prices secondary offering of 10.3 mln shares of
its common stock previously owned by affiliates of the Blackstone
), the Carlyle Group (
), WL Ross & Co., and Centerbridge Partners LP at $33.50