Top Financial Stocks
Financial stocks were mostly higher Wednesday afternoon, with the NYSE Financial Sector Index rising moer than 0.6% while financial companies in the S&P 500 Index were increasing more than 1.2%. Elsewhere, the Philadelphia Housing Sector Index was climbing about 0.6%.
In economic news:
The Consumer Price Index rose an unexpected 0.5% during January, including a 0.3% increase in core prices excluding energy and food costs and matching the top of the analyst forecast range, according to Econoday. Year-over-year, both the headline and the core reading last month were unchanged at 2.1% and 1.8%, respectively. Among individual components, transportation costs - including parking, vehicle leasing, body work, insurance and vehicle fees - climbed 1.8% from December, while hospital expenses jumped 1.3%. Apparel also resumed its advance during January, with women's clothing rising 3.4% while the overall sector increased 1.7%.
Also Wednesday, business inventories grew an expected 0.4% during December while November and October growth remaining at their previously reported 0.4% and 0.0%, respectively. The December increase was centered largely among manufacturers where inventories rose 0.5% while wholesalers expanded their inventories by 0.4%. But retailers weighed somewhat on the total, climbing 0.2% for the fourth consecutive month.
Among financial stocks moving on news:
+ Credit Suisse Group ( CS ) advanced Wednesday, rising almost 4% to a session high of $18.35 a share on the New York Stock Exchange after the company posted a smaller Q4 net loss than analysts were expecting and above-consensus revenue for the October-to-December reporting period. Excluding one-time items and the impact of recent changes in U.S. tax law, it recorded an CHF0.83, or $0.89, per share net loss during the three months ended Dec. 31, improving on a CHF1.20 per share loss during the year-ago period and beating the three-analyst consensus expecting a Q4 net loss of CHF0.89 per share. Revenue rose to CHF5.19 billion from CHF5.18 billion last year, also exceeding the CHF5.08 billion Street view.
In other sector news:
+ Lloyds Banking ( LYG ) was little changed Wednesday afternoon, paring all of its prior decline that followed analysts at Davy Research's reducing their stock rating for the UK-based bank company to Neutral from Outperform.
- Rexford Industrial Realty ( REXR ) was moderately lower after CapitalOne lowered its recommendation for the real estate investment trust to Equal Weight from Overweight.