For Immediate Release
Chicago, IL – April 2, 2018 – Zacks.com announces the list of stocks featured in the Analyst Blog. Every day the Zacks Equity Research analysts discuss the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets. Stocks recently featured in the blog include City Holding Company CHCO, BankUnited, Inc. BKU, McGrath RentCorp MGRC, M&T Bank Corporation MTB and American National Bankshares Inc. AMNB.
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Here are highlights from Thursday’s Analyst Blog:
Financials Don't Fear a Selloff: 5 Top Stocks to Buy
On Wednesday, the Financial Select Sector SPDR declined 3.7% following a fall in bond yields, which reached its lowest level since early February. Meanwhile, the sector recovered on Thursday, rising 0.2%, despite fall in key indexes following continued decline in tech stocks. It is quite likely that the recent slump in technology stocks was the reason for the fall in bond yields.
This means that Wednesday’s selloff was a reaction to recent market events and not due to fundamentals. In fact, financials gained since the beginning of this year, on optimism surrounding strong economic expansion and steady job growth. Given the Fed’s hawkish stance on rates, investing in financials continues to be a strong option going forward.
Amazon-Led Tech Stock Decline Weighs on Yields?
Per Axios, President Trump is somehow “obsessed” with Amazon as the president is thinking of changing the tech giant’s tax treatment in order to protect the interests of mom-and-pop retailers and other key players. Following this development, shares of Amazon fell 4.4% on Thursday and 7.3% in the last five trading days.
Shares of Nvidia and Tesla declined 8% and 16.8%, respectively, in the last five trading days. Reuters reported that Nvidia will suspend all its self-driving tests for the time being after a self-sufficient car killed a woman in Arizona. Further, news came out that the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board will investigate a fatal crash involving one of Tesla’s vehicles in California.
Additionally, Facebook fell 8% in the last five trading days following reports that analytics firm Cambridge Analytica easily collected personal information of more 50 million users without their consent. This raised privacy questions on the social networking giant’s data management and protection from unauthorized third party access.
In the absence of other downside risks, it is quite likely that the tech slump weighed on 10-year Treasury bond yields, which fell to 2.77 on Wednesday. Bond yields reached its lowest settlement on Wednesday since Feb 6. Weak bond yields come as dark tidings for financials.
However, unlike last year when bond yields fell following the Trump government’s failure to pass any key economic policies and lower inflation, this year’s decline in yields was most likely due to the slump in technology. This means that the decline in financials is not a result of weak fundamental factors, but more a reaction to recent sector specific reverses.
Rising Rate Hike Prospects: Boon for Financials
Following its two-day Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) policy meeting held onMar 20-21, the Fed raised its key interest rate by 0.25 points under the Fed’s 16th Chairperson Jerome Powell. The central bank raised its key rate for the sixth time since 2015. Moreover, the Fed also expects two additional rate hikes this year and now three rate hikes in 2019 instead of two. The central bank projects economic growth at the rate of 2.7% in 2018, up from the previous expectation of 2.5%. Further, the growth rate is anticipated to be 2.4% in 2019 — higher than the previous forecast of 2.1%.
Rising rate hike chances is good news for financial companies including banks, money managers, insurance firms and brokerage companies. Banks benefit from a steep yield curve, as the spread between long-term and short-term rates widens. This is mainly because the potential rise in rates will enable banks to charge more for loans, leading to an increase in the spread between their lending rates and the rates paid on deposits.
Buy These 5 Financial Stocks
Given that the recent slump in tech stocks was the likely reason for faltering bond yields, we can say that prospects for financials are largely undiminished. The financial sector performed favorably in recent times following the Fed’s interest rate hikes, better economic growth and Trump’s latest economic policies.
In fact, market watchers believe that this rally will continue if rates continue to march higher this year and even in 2019. The Financial Select Sector SPDR has advanced 14.4% in the last one-year period.
In this context, we have selected five stocks that are expected to gain following these developments. These stocks also flaunt a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) or 2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.
City Holding Company is a provider of various banking, trust and investment management, and other financial solutions.
This West Virginia-based company has a Zacks Rank #2. The expected earnings growth rate for the current year is 15.99%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the current year has improved 2% over the last 30 days. City Holding has gained 11.4% in the past year.
BankUnited, Inc. is a bank holding company for BankUnited, National Association that provides a range of banking services.
This Florida-based company has a Zacks Rank #2. The expected earnings growth rate for the current year is 20.09%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the current year has improved 1.3% over the last 30 days. BankUnited has gained 9.5% in the last year.
McGrath RentCorp is a business to business financial rental and leasing company.
This California-based company has a Zacks Rank #1. The expected earnings growth rate for the current year is 26.17%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the current year has improved 22.7% over the last 30 days. McGrath RentCorp has gained 60.6% in the past year.
M&T Bank Corporation is a provider of commercial and retail banking services in the United States.
This New York-based company has a Zacks Rank #2. The expected earnings growth rate for the current year is 30.68%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the current year has improved 0.2% over the last 30 days. M&T Bank has gained 16.9% in a year.
American National Bankshares Inc. is a provider of financial services and products. It operates through two segments, Trust and Investment Services, and Community Banking.
This Virginia-based company has a Zacks Rank #2. The expected earnings growth rate for the current year is 25.60%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the current year has improved 0.8% over the last 30 days. American National Bankshares has gained 2.8% in a year’s time.
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M&T Bank Corporation (MTB) : Free Stock Analysis Report
BankUnited, Inc. (BKU) : Free Stock Analysis Report
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McGrath RentCorp (MGRC) : Free Stock Analysis Report
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