Financial Sector Update for 04/11/2018: APAM,HRZN,XELA

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Financial stocks were broadly lower Wednesday, with the NYSE Financial Sector Index slipping just 0.1% while financial companies in the S&P 500 Index were falling almost 0.8%. The Philadelphia Housing Sector Index was falling nearly 0.2%.

In economic news:

Declining gasoline prices pulled consumer prices 0.1% lower during March compared with the prior month and missing expert opinion looking for no change last month. Excluding food and energy prices, the core consumer price index rose 0.2%, matching expectations, while the year-over-year rate climbed an as-expected 0.3 percentage points over February's 1.8% pace to 2.1%. In addition to the 2.8% slide for energy costs, apparel and education and communications expenses fell 0.6% and 0.2%, respectively. Medical care costs rose 0.4% while housing costs rose 0.3% for the second month in a row.

Among financial stocks moving on news:

- Artisan Partners Asset Management ( APAM ) declined Wednesday, at one point falling over 2%, after reporting a 2% dip in its assets under management during March compared with the prior month, falling to $114.8 billion from $117.2 billion in February. A $2.1 billion month-over-month drop in separate accounts at Artisan Partners to $56.9 billion accounted for most of the March decline while assets held in Artisan Global Funds fell just $300 million to $57.9 billion. On a year-over-year basis, assets under management were up 10.6% from its $103.8 billion at the end of March 2017, carried by a 11.1% increase in separate funds and a 10.3% rise for the Artisan Global Funds.

In other sector news:

+ Horizon Technology Finance ( HRZN ) was narrowly higher in Wednesday trading, easing from a nearly 1% advance earlier in the session, that followed the specialty lender late Tuesday saying it extended the revolving period for its syndicated credit facility until April 2021 and pushed back the maturity date until April 2021. The amended agreement increases the company's borrowing capacity to $100 million and the agreement also contains an accordion feature allowing Horizon to borrow up to $150 million under certain circumstances.

- Exela Technologies ( XELA ) fell almost 6% on Wednesday after the transaction processing firm late Tuesday announced plans to sell up to 7 million shares for institutional investor Ex-Sigma 2 LLC through an underwritten secondary offering. Ex-Sigma 2 also issued a 30-day option to the underwriters to buy up to 1.05 million additional shares to cover potential over-allotments. Exela will not receive any proceeds from the offering.

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: APAM , HRZN , XELA

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