Markets

Financial Sector Update for 12/19/2014: FMD,CUBA,LC

Top Financial Stocks

JPM +0.57%

BAC +0.35%

WFC -1.05%

C -0.19%

USB -0.77%

Financial stocks were slightly lower, with the NYSE Financial Sector Index slipping about 0.1% and the S&P Financial 100 Index down about 0.1%.

In company news, First Marblehead Corp. ( FMD ) was higher Friday after the education financing company was raised to Buy from Neutral by analysts at Compass Point, who also increased their price target for the stock by $4.50 to $7 a share.

The research shop cited the decision earlier this week by the IRS to no longer challenge $221.7 million in federal tax refunds claimed by the company as motivating the upgrade.

Still, Compass Point also said it does not expect the firm to return to profitability before FY16, explaining, "fundamentals continue to slowly improve and we see value within the existing franchise that could be attractive to a potential acquirer."

FMD shares recently were ahead nearly 2% at $4.94 apiece, earlier climbing to a session high of $5.23 a share. The stock has traded within a 52-week range of $1.21 to $7.50 a share, declining 32% over the past 12 months prior to Friday's gain.

In other sector news,

(+) CUBA, (+24.3%) Declared year-end distribution of $0.635 per share, payable Jan. 7, 2015, to shareholders of record on Dec. 30. The distribution consists of $0.596 per share from net long-term capital gains and $0.039 per share from short-term gains.

(-) LC, (-4.8%) Expands Lending Club platform now open to investors in Massachusetts, the 28th state where individual investors can invest in consumer credit as an asset class.

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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