Financial stocks were higher in afternoon trade with the NYSE Financial Sector Index gaining nearly 1% and the S&P Financial 100 Index advancing 0.6%%.
In company news, Life Partners Holdings Inc. ( LPHI ) shares were up nearly 17% in late Tuesday trade after a federal jury ruled the insurance company and its executives did not commit fraud or engage in insider trading, beating Securities and Exchange charges.
The SEC had claimed LPHI violated Rule 10b-5 regulating stock sales by company executives and other insider by intentionally underestimating the life expectancies of the insureds in the life settlements it facilitated. The jury also found CEO Brian Pardo and its General Counsel, Scott Peden, did not engage in insider trading.
Shares were up 16.8% at $2.99 each, gaining as much as 20% after the jury decision was announced. The stock has a 52-week range of $1.52 to $4.47.
In other sector news,
(+) GGP, Q4 funds from operations of $0.36 per share beat analyst estimates by $0.01. Revenue climbs 2.7% year over year to $681.4 mln, topping Capital IQ consensus by $12.45 mln.
(-) DNB, Q4 earnings of $2.74 trail Wall Street expectations by $0.08 per share, overshadowing a 10% increase in its quarterly dividend. Revenue rose 3% year over year to $476.7 million, beating estimates by $7.77 million.
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