Top Financial Stocks
Financial stocks were ending broadly higher, with the NYSE Financial Sector Index rising just 0.4% while financial companies in the S&P 500 Index were racing nearly 1.5% higher. The Philadelphia Housing Sector Index was falling more than 2.5%.
In economic news:
First-time unemployment claims slipped by around 1,000 applicants during the seven days ended April 14 compared with the prior week, falling to 232,000 initial jobless claims. Experts polled by Econoday had been expecting a larger decline of about 3,000 applications last week. The four-week moving averaged ticked higher to 231,250 from 230,000 during the week ended April 7. Continuing claims fell by 15,000 unemployed workers to a total 1.863 million people receiving unemployment insurance benefits.
The Philadelphia Fed Business Outlook Survey rose to 23.2 in April from a 22.3 March reading and also topped expectations for a 2.2-point decline to a 20.1 score. But several individual components of the monthly survey were less optimistic, including a 50% decline in new orders to an 18.4 reading this month, while backlog orders fell by 12.3 points - or more than 61% - to a 7.8 reading compared a 20.1 score in March. The latest survey also showed signs of the impact of new tariffs on business activity, with prices paid jumping nearly 14 points to a seven-year high of 56.4 and prices received showed a 9-point increase to 29.8, reaching its highest level in a decade.
Among financial stocks moving on news:
+ BB&T Corporation ( BBT ) rose over 3% on Thursday, finishing near its session high, after reporting adjusted Q1 net income exceeding Wall Street expectations but also overcoming below-consensus revenue for the January-to-March period. It earned $0.97 per share during the three months ended March 31, topping the Capital IQ consensus by $0.07 per share. Revenue climbed to $2.84 bilion from 2.82 billion last year but still coming up shy of the Street view expecting $2.85 billion.
In other sector news:
+ The Bank Of New York Mellon ( BK ) was higher Thursday afternoon, climbing as much as 5%, after the custodian bank reported Q1 net income and revenue exceeding Wall Street expectations. The company earned $1.10 per share during the three months ended March 31, improving on an $0.83 per share profit last year and beating the Capital IQ consensus by $0.16 per share. Revenue grew to $4.18 billion compared with $3.84 billion during the year-ago period and also topping the $4.04 billion analyst mean.
+ The Blackstone Group L.P ( BX ) was trading over 1% higher on Thursday, easing from a 3% mid-morning advance, after reporting Q1 financial results topping Street views. It earned $0.53 per share during the January-to-March reporting period, down from $0.68 per share in net income last year but still exceeding analyst projections by $0.03 per share. Revenue also declined, falling to $1.77 billion from $1.91 billion last year, but also beating the $1.25 billion consensus call.
+ Ocwen Financial Corp ( OCN ) was hanging on to a 1% gain Thursday afternoon, previously climbing almost 3% higher, after naming Glen Messina as its new chief executive, rereplacing Ron Faris, who will retire on June 30. Messina currently is CEO at mortgage servicing company PHH, which in February agreed to be acquired by Ocwen in February. The deal is expected to close before the end of June.