Financial Sector Update for 03/06/2018: WASH,WLH,CCT

Top Financial Stocks

JPM +0.43%

BAC +0.54%

WFC -0.87%

C -0.07%

USB +0.45%

Financial stocks weakened Tuesday, giving back morning gains after White House economic adviser Gary Cohn said he was unsure he could remain with the Trump Administration if the President follows through with his threat to impose tariffs on imported steel and aluminum. At last look, the NYSE Financial Sector Index still was less than 0.1% higher this afternoon while financial companies in the S&P 500 Index were falling over 0.2%. The Philadelphia Housing Sector Index was hanging on to a 0.4% advance.

In economic news:

Factory orders fell 1.4% during January, coming in 0.1 percentage points higher than expert opinion, in the final report of a mixed to soft month for manufacturing metrics. Excluding transportation equipment, the decline narrowed to 0.5% following gains of 0.8% and 0.4% during the final two months of 2017. Non-durable goods continue to hold up well, with orders rising 0.8%, while durable orders fell 3.6% although that was 0.1 of a percentage point below the flash reading for that component last week, which is one-tenth less weak than last week's advance report for this component. Shipments of core capital goods, which excludes defense items and aircraft, slipped 0.1%, reversing a positive 0.1% initial reading for the component while orders of core capital goods were revised 0.1 percentage points lower to a 0.3% decline following a 0.5% drop in December.

The US Senate also is set to vote Tuesday on a rollback of key provisions of the Dodd-Frank regulations enacted by lawmakers almost a decade ago to keep financial-service companies from making the risky investments that helped trigger the 2008-09 financial crisis. President Trump also is scheduled to take questions from reporters at 3:30 p.m. ET, according to the White House.

Among financial stocks moving on news:

- Washington Trust Bancorp Inc. ( WASH ) has drifting lower Tuesday, sinking almost 1% to a session low of $53.60 a share, after saying it has completed its executive transition, with Edward Handy III becoming board chairman and chief executive officer of the bank holding company and for the bank, taking over for Joseph MarcAurele following his March 2 retirement. Handy previously was president and chief operating officer of Washington Trust since November 2013, managing over 600 employees working in a variety of commercial, mortgage and personal banking along with wealth management and trust services throughout Rhode Island, Connecticut and Massachusetts. The company also promoted Mark Gim to replace Handy as president and chief operating officer.

In other sector news:

+ William Lyon Homes ( WLH ) was hanging on to a slim mid-day gain on Tuesday, previously rising almost 2% to a session high of $26.05 a share, after disclosing plans for a $350 million private placement of senior notes due 2023. Net proceeds will be used to help fund the homebuilder's scheduled Q1 acquisition of RSI Communities and three other real estate assets as well repaying all $150 million of the company's 5.75% senior notes due 2019.

- Corporate Capital Trust ( CCT ) was narrowly lower Tuesday afternoon, paring most of a nearly 3% decline to a session low of $15.50 a share after reporting Q4 net investment income of $0.38 per share, down from $0.39 per share during the same quarter last year and also trailing the three-analyst consensus expecting $0.40 per share in net investment income. Total investment income rose to $106.8 million from $101.8 million during the year-ago period.

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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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