Top Financial Stocks
Financial stocks rose during Thursday trading, with the NYSE Financial Index posting a nearly 0.4% increase while shares of financial companies in the S&P 500 added less than 0.1% in value this afternoon. The Philadelphia Housing Index was down less than 0.1% in late trade.
In economic news:
The Consumer Price Index rose just 0.1% during June, missing analysts' views for a 0.2% increase over May levels, when inflation at the consumer level also grew 0.2% month-over-month. Excluding food and energy costs, CPI climbed 0.2% in June, matching forecasts year-over-year, consumer prices picked up a little more speed, rising 2.9% in June to match the Econoday consensus and adding 0.1 of a percentage point to May levels.
First-time jobless benefit applications declined by 18,000 during the seven days ended July 7 from an upwardly revised 232,000 claims during the prior month, with the fall to 214,000 initial claims for unemployment compensation also moving past market expectations for a 6,000 dip to 225,000 applications last week. Continuing claims also fell by 3,000 to around 1.74 million jobless workers while the unemployment rate for insured workers was unchanged at 1.2%.
Among financial stocks moving on news:
+ Lending Tree ( TREE ) was poised to close almost 3% higher on Thursday despite a move by analysts at Oppenheimer to cut their price target for the specialty lender by $50 to $320 a share but also reiterating the brokerage's outperform stock rating.
In other sector news:
+ Commerce Bancshares ( CBSH ) climbed to a new, all-time high on Thursday, rising over 5% to a best-ever $70.00 a share, after beating wall Street expectations with its Q2 net income and revenue. The bank holding company earned $1.01 per share during the three months ended June 30, up from $0.71 during the same period last year and exceeding the Capital IQ consensus by $0.12 per share. Revenue, calculated as the total of net interest and non-interest income, rose to $335.8 million from $298.2 million during the year-ago period, also topping the $321.9 million analyst mean.
+ KeyCorp ( KEY ) was narrowly lower Thursday afternoon, backtracting from a 1% advance for the bank holding company that followed it declaring a $0.17 per share Q3 dividend, representing a 41.7% increase over its most recent distribution to investors. The upcoming dividend, including the added $0.05 per share, is payable Sept. 14 to shareholders of record on Aug. 28.
- Bank of the Ozarks ( OZRK ) dropped as much as 8% on Thursday after the bank holding company reported Q2 revenue falling short of analyst projections. Revenue, calculated as the sum of net interest income and non-interest income, grew to $252.1 million during the three months ended June 30 from $233.9 million during the same quarter last year but still trailed the $255.9 million Capital IQ consensus. It also earned $0.89 per share, up from the prior-year period's $0.73-per-share profit and matching Street views.