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Financial Sector Update for 03/08/2018: REIS, MFIN

Top Financial Stocks

JPM, -0.3%

BAC, -0.1%

WFC, 0.1%

C, -0.1%

USB, +0.2%

Financial stocks were mixed this afternoon, with the NYSE Financial Sector Index (^NYK) rising slightly more than 0.1% while financial companies in the S&P 500 Index ( XLF ) were rising almost 0.1%. The Philadelphia Housing Sector Index (^HGX) also was nearly 0.3% lower.

In economic news:

First-time jobless claims ticked higher last week, climbing by 21,000 during the seven days ended March 3 over the previous week to 231,000 initial applications for unemployment benefits. in data for the March 3 week. The four-week average also rose, growing by 2,000 to 222,500 claims, the Labor Department said. But continuing claims through the week ended Feb. 24 saw a significant decline, falling by 64,000 applications to 1.870 million, coming in about 40,000 below month-ago comparisons.

Also Thursday, the information services sector generated around $405.6 billion in Q4 revenue, improving about 1.3% over upwardly revised Q3 levels and rising 6.5% over the final three months in 2016. The Street was looking for a slightly larger increase to $424.1 billion. The Census Bureau also tweaked the Q3 quarter-over-quarter increase to 2.1% from the 1.8% advance over Q2 levels originally reported.

Overseas, the European Central Bank earlier Thursday left interest rates unchanged and also confirmed the current quantitative easing schedule of EUR30 billion per month running through the end of September. The ECB changed some of its language for quantitative easing, no longer saying it can be extended in size or duration, but instead stating the current schedule can be extended "if necessary" and will run "in any case until the governing Council sees a sustained adjustment in the path of inflation consistent with the inflation aim."

Among financial stocks moving on news:

Reis Inc. ( REIS ) jumped out to a 19-month high on Thursday, rising over 10% to its best share price since July 2016 at $22.35 each, after the commercial real estate market analytics company said it was exploring its strategic alternatives with a focus on enhancing shareholder value. The company has hired Canaccord Genuity as its financial advisor and Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson LLP as its legal counsel to assist in evaluating potential alternatives. In prepared remarks, Reis CEO Lloyd Lynford said the company has been approached by would-be suitors in the past, later saying he believes "considering strategic discussions, whether partnership, investment, merger or sale, in an organized manner is appropriate and timely." Separately, Reis reported a Q4 net loss of $0.40 per share during the three months ended Dec. 31 on $12.2 million in revenue, expanding on a $0.02 per share net loss on $11.55 million in revenue. Analysts, on average, were expecting net income of $0.05 per share on $12.47 million in revenue.

In other sector news:

-Medallion Financial Corp. ( MFIN ) retreated Thursday, dropping about 1.5% to a session low of $4.55 a share, after saying its shareholders overwhelmingly voted in favor of a proposal withdrawing the specialty finance company from regulation as a business development company and consolidating all of its non-investment units into a single entity. The company's board is expected to file its withdrawal request with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission by April 1. About 95% of the shares cast at the special shareholders meeting voted for the proposal, Medallion said.

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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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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