Financial Sector Update for 01/11/2018: PAY,BABA,XL,TCAP,RGA,RNR,BAM

Top Financial Stocks

JPM +0.1%

BAC +0.3%

WFC -0.3%

C -0.3%

USB +0.6%

Financial stocks were slightly higher Thursday, with the NYSE Financial Sector Index rising 0.2% while financial companies in the S&P 500 Index also were climbing almost 0.2%. Elsewhere, the Philadelphia Housing Sector Index was more than 1.5% higher.

In economic news:

Wall Street largely shrugged off an 11,000 rise in the number of first-time unemployment insurance claims last week, reaching 261,000 claims and missing expectations for a 5,000 decline during the seven days ended Jan. 6. The four-week moving average also grew, increasing to 250,750 from 241.750 during the prior period. Continuing claims fell 35,000 to a 44-year low of 1.867 million.

Also Thursday, wholesale prices declined 0.1% during December, marking the first contraction since late 2016. Excluding food and fuels, the core producer price index also slipped 0.1%. Both metrics had been expected to rise 0.2% last month.

Among financial stocks moving on news:

Verifone Systems ( PAY ) was more than 1% higher in mid-day trading, easing somewhat from its earlier session high of $18.53 a share, after the electronic payments processor said it was expanding its global partnership with Alipay, the payments unit of Chinese online retailer Alibaba Group ( BABA ). The new deal will allow buyers to use Alipay at Lacoste stores throughout the United States. Chinese travelers spent an estimated $33 billion in the US during 2016, Verifone said.

In other sector news:

+ XL Group ( XL ) rose Thursday after the property and casualty insurer Wednesday night said preliminary estimates indicate it will sustain around $45 million in natural catastrophe net losses from the the recent wildfires in California. Other events are expected to cause around $20 million in losses, it said, adding that all of its $315 million in Q4 losses - which includes its previously announced $250 million in anticipated wildfire losses - will be split roughly equally between the company's insurance and reinsurance segments.

+ Triangle Capital ( TCAP ) rose Thursday after Raymond James raised its stock rating for the company to Market Perform From Underperform.

+ Reinsurance Group of America ( RGA ) was edging higher after forming global reinsurer Langhorne Re together with RenaissanceRe Holdings Ltd (RNR). Langhorne will target large in-force life and annuity blocks and so far has secured about $780 million of equity capital commitments from the two firms.

- Brookfield Asset Management Inc (BAM) declined Thursday after the alternative assets manager began a $500 million offering of 10-year notes along with a $250 re-opening of its 4.7% notes due 2047, building on the company's $550 million private placement of the 30-year notes last year.

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

Copyright (C) 2016 All rights reserved. Unauthorized reproduction is strictly prohibited.

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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