Top Financial Stocks
Financial stocks were trading higher Tuesday afternoon, with the NYSE Financial Sector Index advancing more than 0.5% while financial companies in the S&P 500 Index were climbing almost 0.3%. The Philadelphia Housing Sector Index was up over 0.5%.
In economic news:
The S&P Corelogic Case-Shiller index of home prices in the 20 largest US cities rose 0.8% during February, matching January's month-over-month increase and topping the Econoday consensus expecting 0.7% growth. Compared with February 2017 levels, home prices rose 6.8% to also exceed expert opinion looking for a 6.2% year-over-year increase. The fastest growth was seen in the western United States, with Seattle, Las Vegas and San Francisco posting price gains in the low double percentage digits while Washington, D.C., and Chicago brought up the rear rising in the low single percentage digits.
New home sales also exceeded expectations, rising 4.0% in March to an annualized 694,000 sales pace compared with an upwardly revised 667,000 annualized rate in February and consensus forecasts looking for a 630,000 yearly rate. The median price for new homes increased by 3.5% to $337,200.
Consumer confidence rose 1.7 points to a final 128.7 reading for April, the Conference Board said Tuesday, beating the consensus score expecting a 126.1 reading and reversing the 3.0-point decline to a downwardly revised 127.0 March reading. The present situations index improved to 159.6 from a downwardly revised 158.1 reading in March while the expectations index turned in a 1.9-point increase to a 108.1 April final reading. Income pessimism dropped to a 17-year-low, with only 6.0% of respondents expecting their incomes to fall.
Among financial stocks moving on news:
- The Travelers Companies ( TRV ) declined Tuesday, at one point falling nearly 5% in mid-morning trading after missing analyst estimates with its Q1 earnings. The property and casualty insurance company recorded core Q1 net income of $2.46 per share during the three months ended March 31, improving on a core profit of $2.16 per share in the year-ago period but still trailing the Capital IQ consensus expecting $2.69 per share. Revenue rose to $7.29 billion from $6.94 billion last year, exceeding the $6.59 billion analyst mean.
In other sector news:
+ Santander Consumer USA Holdings ( SC ) rallied Tuesday, racing to a 16% gain after earning $0.67 per share during the three months ended March 31 and beating the Capital IQ consensus expecting no change from last year's $0.40 per share profit. Revenue fell to $1.03 billion from 1.11 billion during the same quarter last year, also topping the analyst mean expecting $1.02 billion in revenue. The specialty lender also declared a quarterly cash dividend of $0.05 per share, unchanged from its most recent distribution and payable May 14 to shareholders of record on May 4.
- Huntington Bancshares ( HBAN ) was drifting lower on Tuesday, sliding almost 1% this afternoon, after posting $1.08 billion in Q1 revenue, up from $1.04 billion from the same quarter last year but still coming in about $20 million shy of Wall Street expectations. It also reported Q1 net income of $0.28 per share, matching the analyst mean. The bank holding company also is projecting revenue growth of between 4% to 6% compared with the Street view expecting 6.2% growth.