Top Financial Stocks
Financial stocks were mostly higher Wednesday afternoon, with the NYSE Financial Sector Index rising over 1.6% while financial companies in the S&P 500 Index were increasing over 2.3%. Elsewhere, the Philadelphia Housing Sector Index was climbing about 1.4%.
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:
- Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust ( PEI ) turned fractionally lower on Wednesday after the property manager this afternoon reported a Q4 net loss of $0.05 per share, paring a $0.40 per share loss during the same quarter last year and trailing the Capital IQ consensus expecting a $0.04 per share profit. Revenue also declined, dropping to $59.8 million from $63.7 million last year and also lagging the $60.35 million analyst mean. Adjusted Q4 funds from operations fell to $0.51 per share during the three months ended Dec. 31, down from adjusted FFO during the year-ago period of $0.57 per share.
In other sector news:
+ Credit Suisse Group ( CS ) advanced as much as 4% on the New York Stock Exchange after Wednesday posting a smaller Q4 net loss than analysts were expecting and above-consensus revenue for the October-to-December reporting period. Excluding one-time items, it recorded a CHF0.83, or $0.89, per share net loss during the three months ended Dec. 31, beating the three-analyst consensus expecting a CHF0.89 per share net loss. Revenue rose to CHF5.19 billion from CHF5.18 billion last year, also exceeding the CHF5.08 billion Street view.
+ Oaktree Capital Group ( OAK ) was narrowly higher Wednesday after it completed its $320 million purchase of Canadian oilfield-infrastructure company NAPEC (NPC.TO), paying C$1.95 for each NAPEC share. Following the deal closing, NAPEC shares will be delisted from the Toronto Stock Exchange later Wednesday.
+ Lloyds Banking ( LYG ) was little changed Wednesday afternoon, paring all of its prior decline that followed analysts at Davy Research reducing their stock rating for the UK-based bank company to Neutral from Outperform.
- Rexford Industrial Realty ( REXR ) was moderately lower after CapitalOne lowered their analyst recommendation for the real estate investment trust to Equal Weight from Overweight.