Top Financial Stocks
Financial stocks were sharply higher Tuesday afternoon, with the NYSE Financial Sector Index rising over 0.4% while financial companies in the S&P 500 Index were climbing nearly 1.3% in recent trading. Elsewhere, the Philadelphia Housing Sector Index was more than 0.3% higher.
In economic news:
The US job market remained hot during November although the number of Job openings slipped 0.8% nationwide to a lower-than-expected 5.879 million from a downwardly revised 5.925 million in October. Hires also fell 1.9% during November to 5.488 million , the Labor Department said.
Optimism among small-business owners dropped 2.4% during December to a 104.9 reading, trailing the 107.9 expected score and retreating from the 3.6% increase in November. The National Federation of Independent Business said Tuesday. The firmer response was expected following passage of tax reform legislation late last month although the 107.5 November print already was a 34-year high. The year-ago reading was 105.8. The share of firms planning to hire last month also fell to 20% from 24% in November while expectations for a better economy also dropped 11 percentage points to 37%.
Elsewhere, S&P Global Ratings raised its estimate for 2018 US real gross domestic product to 2.8% growth from its previous forecast looking for 2.6% growth. The firm also increased its 2019 GDP growth estimate to 2.2% from the 1.9% rise in its November forecast, explaining the improved view for both years was "largely driven by tax cuts to individuals and corporations."
Among financial stocks moving on news:
- Condor Hospitality Trust ( CDOR ) was little changed in recent trading, erasing a fractional decline for the real estate investment trust's stock earlier Tuesday that followed it saying one of its legacy hotel properties - the 135-room Comfort Suites in South Bend, Ind. - is now under contract for sale for $6.1 million. The deal is expected to close before the end of March. Net proceeds from the upcoming sale will be used to reduce debt owed under the company's $150 million secured credit facility.
In other sector news:
- Horizon Technology Finance ( HRZN ) dropped as much as 12% Tuesday after analysts at Wells Fargo lowered their investment recommendation for the company's stock to Underperform From Market Perform.
- SL Green Realty ( SLG ) was narrowly lower after Tuesday promoting Edward Piccinich to chief operating officer.
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