Financial stocks were moderately higher with the NYSE Financial Sector Index climbing about 0.4% and the S&P Financial 100 Index also advancing about 0.4%.
In company news, Brookfield Property Partners (BPY,BPY-UN.TO) was holding onto a 1% advance late Tuesday after increasing the target for growth in its yearly cash distributions to shareholders by as much as 60% over its prior forecasts.
During its annual Investment Day presentations in New York today, the real estate development firm said it was increasing expected growth in its cash dividend to 5% to 8% over FY13 levels, up from its previous outlook expecting 3% to 5% growth.
BPY in April said it again anticipates making cash distributions of $1.00 per unit on an annualized basis during the current fiscal year, unchanged from FY13. It said the new guidance reflects positive long-term fundamentals and strong organic growth, including opportunities from marking-to-market expiring leases, occupancy gains, and the monetization of its development and redevelopment projects.
BPY units were up slightly more than 1% this afternoon at $21.05 each, just a penny under its session high. The stock has traded within a 52-week range of $18.19 to $21.94 per unit, rising nearly 8% over the past 12 months prior to today's gains.
The stock also was higher in Canadian trade at C$23.33 per unit, adding 1.6% late at the Toronto Stock Exchange.
In other sector news,
(+) GRT, Agrees to $4.3 bln buyout offer from Washington Prime Group ( WPG ), which will exchange $10.40 in cash and 0.1989 shares of its stock for each GRT share. Deal also includes GRT selling two malls to Simon Property Group ( SPG ) for $1.09 bln.
(-) MS, Morgan Stanley Infrastructure unit buys 6.5% interest in natural gas gathering facility from Magnum Hunter Resources Group ( MHR ) for $65 mln. Also buys 41% stake in the facility from ArcLight Capital Partners for unspecified amount.
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