Financial Sector Update for 02/15/2018: USB,ARES,NTB,BXP,DB

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Top Financial Stocks

JPM +0.30%

BAC +0.58%

WFC +0.45%

C +0.38%

USB -0.42%

Financial stocks were adding to narrow gains earlier Thursday afternoon, with the NYSE Financial Sector Index rising almost 0.6% while financial companies in the S&P 500 Index were climbing nearly 0.4%. Also, the Philadelphia Housing Sector Index was showing a 0.5% advance.

In economic news:

In a busy day for economic data, first-time jobless claims rose by 9,000 applications during the week ended Feb. 10 compared with the prior week but remain near historic lows of 230,000 initial applications for unemployment benefits while the four-week rolling average came in at 228,500. Applications last week were roughly 15,000 lower compared with the same week in 2017. Continuing claims also rose by 15,000 to a still very low 1.942 million claims during the seven days ended Feb. 3.

Also today, separate reports continued to show strong manufacturing activity in New York state along with the mid-Atlantic coastal region. The Empire State Manufacturing survey conducted by the New York Fed showed a 13.1 reading for February, although that was down from a revised 17.7 reading for the prior month and also trailing expert opinion looking for a 17.5 February score. The Philadelphia Fed's survey of general business conditions rose to a 25.8 reading for February from January's 22.2 reading, beating the top-end of the 19.0 to 24.7 forecast range.

Confidence among home-builders also remains extremely upbeat, with the National Association of Home Builders' monthly survey coming in at an as-expected 72 reading in February and unchanged from January. Traffic remains steady with a 54 reading, the trade group said, suggesting first-time buyers are coming into the market. Current and future sales also remain unusually strong, at 79 and 78 respectively.

Among financial stocks moving on news:

- U.S. Bancorp ( USB ) was fractionally lower late Thursday after Thursday saying it will pay a combined $613 million in penalties to resolve a dispute dating back to 2015 over its compliance with bank secrecy and anti-money laundering laws brought by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Federal Reserve Board and the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network. "We regret and have accepted responsibility for the past deficiencies in our AML program," CEO Andy Cecere said in prepared remarks. "Our culture of ethics and integrity demands that we do better,"

In other sector news:

+ Ares Management ( ARES ) raced to a new record high of $25.75 per unit on Thursday despite reporting Q4 revenue trailing year-ago comparisons as well as Wall Street expectations and upstaging better-than-expected economic net income. Revenue declined to $356.3 million during the three months ended Dec. 31, down from 358.2 million during the same quarter last year and lagging the Capital IQ consensus expecting $376.4 million in revenue. The alternative asset manager also recorded economic net income of of $0.54 per unit, up from $0.44 a year ago and exceeding the $0.48 per unit analyst mean.

+ Bank of N.T. Butterfield & Son ( NTB ) rose over 10% on Thursday, reaching a session high of $40.27 a share, after the financial-services company announced a deal to acquire Deutsche Bank's ( DB ) banking and custody business in the Cayman Islands, Jersey and Guernsey, which primarily serves financial intermediaries and corporate clients. Financial terms of the proposed transaction were not disclosed although the companies said they expect the deal to close in stages during 2018, subject to regulatory approvals.

+ Boston Properties ( BXP ) advanced Thursday after analysts at Bank of America Merrill Lynch raised their investment rating for the real estate investment trust to Buy from Neutral and also set a $145 price target for the company's stock.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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This article appears in: Investing , Banking and loans
Referenced Symbols: USB , ARES , NTB , DB , BXP

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