Top Financial Stocks
Financial stocks were finishing roughly split between winners and lowers Friday, with the NYSE Financial Sector Index rising about 0.1% while financial companies in the S&P 500 Index were falling just under 0.2%. The Philadelphia Housing Sector Index was climbing nearly 0.2%.
In economic news,
April trade prices were mixed, with imports rising less than expert opinion was expecting while exports prices were stronger than expected. Import prices rose just 0.3%, trailing the consensus forecast by 0.2 percentage points, boosted by a restrained 1.6% increase in imported petroleum prices despite a 5.5% gain in West Texas Intermediate prices last month. Export prices rose 0.6%, doubling up the 0.3% consensus following a 0.7% jump in non-agricultural export prices. Core price gains excluding fuel and food largely matched March's gains but weakened somewhat from January and February levels. Trade prices also continued climbing, although domestic inflation fears have calmed since an outsized jump in January price spooked the market.
The flash reading for consumer sentiment in May came in slightly shy of expectations, remaining unchanged from April final reading of 98.8, or 0.2 percentage points under the 99.0 consensus call. Current conditions slid slightly from month-ago levels to 113.3, offsetting a small rise in consumer perceptions of current conditions, according to the University of Michigan Consumer Survey Center.
Among financial stocks moving on news:
- Thomson Reuters (TRI,TRI.TO) dropped to a 27-month low on Friday, falling to its lowest share price since February 2016 at $36.52 each, after the news and financial data company reported Q1 earnings and revenue coming up short of Wall Street estimates, upstaging the launch of a new $500 million stock buyback program. Excluding one-time items, the company earned $0.28 per share during the three months ended March 31, improving on $0.25 per share during the same quarter last year but lagging the Capital IQ consensus by $0.06 per share. Revenue declined 3.6% year over year to $1.38 billion from $1.33 billion during the same quarter last year and also missing the Street view expecting $1.41 billion in quarterly revenue.
In other sector news:
+ Barclays ( BCS ) was hanging on to a slim gain in Friday's mid-day market, erasing most of a nearly 1% increase that followed the British financial services company saying UK regulators have issued a GBP642,430 fine to CEO James Staley over his actions in response to an anonymous shareholder and whistleblower who made several allegations, some that involved Staley. The $872,037 fine by the Financial Conduct Authority follows the agency determining Staley made serious efforts of judgment and saying his misconduct was "sufficiently serious to impose a penalty of 10% of Mr. Staley's relevant annual income."
- Waddell & Reed Financial ( WDR ) was narrowly lower Friday afternoon, falling to negative turf following a nearly 1% advance earlier in the session that followed the investment manager reporting a 1.2% decline in its assets under management during April compared with the prior month, falling to $79.2 billion from $80.2 billion in assets on March 31.
- Virtu Financial ( VIRT ) was down about 2% in recent trade, paring a more than 4% loss earlier Friday, that followed the market-maker pricing a $244.2 million public offering of nearly 8.72 million shares of its Class A stock at $28 apiece, a 5.2% discount to Thursday's closing price. Shareholders, including Virtu founder and board chairman emeritus Vincent Viola along with an affiliate of Temasek Holdings Ltd, sold another 6.28 million Class A shares through a concurrent secondary offering, receiving $175.8 million in combined gross proceeds. The company plans to use the net proceeds from its stock sale to repurchase an equal number of its common interest units and a corresponding amount of its Class D common stock.