Top Financial Stocks
Financial stocks were ending lower today, with the NYSE Financial Sector Index slipping almost 0.7% while financial companies in the S&P 500 Index were falling over 1.2%. The Philadelphia Housing Sector Index fell more than 0.6%.
In economic news:
Declining gasoline prices pulled consumer prices 0.1% lower during March compared with the prior month and missed expert opinion expecting 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 a 2.1%. In addition to the 2.8% slide for energy costs, apparel and education & 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:
+ Colony NorthStar ( CLNS ) was almost 3% higher in late Wednesday trading, staying with relatively close range of its session high that followed the real estate investment trust saying it has completed its fourth deal in Jacksonville, Fla., in the last nine months, buying the Westside Industrial Park for $77.5 million. The new property consists of four Class A light-industrial buildings totaling nearly 1.3 million square feet. The buildings are 99.8% leased to nine high-quality tenants, Colony said.
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 accordian feature allowing Horizon to borrow up to $150 million under certain circumstances.
- Artisan Partners Asset Management ( APAM ) declined Wednesday, at one point falling over 2%, after reporting a 2% dip in its assets under management to $114.8 billion during March 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.
- 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.