Financial Sector Update for 01/10/2018: AFSI,CASH,SHO

Top Financial Stocks

JPM +1.31%

BAC +1.22%

WFC +1.67%

C +1.05%

USB +1.58%

Financial stocks were trending higher Wednesday, with the NYSE Financial Sector Index rising over 0.6% while financial companies in the S&P 500 Index were posting a nearly 1.1% advance. Also, the Philadelphia Housing Sector Index was down about 0.8%.

In economic news:

Wholesale trade inventories rose 0.8% during November, edging out expert opinion looking for a 0.7% rise and marking one of the largest increases of 2017. Wholesale sales also rose, climbing 1.5% in November following an 0.8% rise in October. The stock-to-sales ratio for the sector fell to to 1.24 in November vs 1.25 and 1.26 for the two prior months.

Among financial stocks moving on news:

+ AmTrust Financial Services ( AFSI ) raced as much as 28% higher Wednesday, reaching a session high of $12.95 a share, after an investor group led by Stone Point Capital, which also includes CEO Barry Zyskind and board members George and Leah Karfunkel, proposed a $1.1 billion going-private transaction for the property and casualty insurer. The deal would pay $12.25 in cash - representing a 20.8% premium over Tuesday's closing price - for each of approximately 89.8 million shares the Karfunkel and Zyskind families don't already own.

In other sector news:

+ Meta Financial ( CASH ) climbed over 12% Wednesday, touching a session high of $102.55 a share after the Meta Bank's corporate parent disclosed plans to acquire Crestmark Bancorp for around $321 million in stock. The deal values Crestmark at $242.08 per share, with the sellers receiving 2.65 Meta shares for each Crestmark share they now own.

+ Sunstone Hotel Investors ( SHO ) was edging higher Wednesday after the real estate investment trust said it has sold the 289-room Marriott Philadelphia hotel and the 464-room Marriott Quincy in Massachusetts to an unidentified buyer for a combined $139 million, or about $184,600 per key. Sunstone said the transaction furthers its strategy of concentrating its portfolio in long-term relevant real estate.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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