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Top 10 Financial Stocks To Watch Right Now

U.S. Treasuries provide the closest thing on the planet to the risk-free rate of return, a crucial element in financial theory used to value a wide swath of global assets. After all, they make up the largest and most liquid bond market, the dollar is the reserve currency of the world, and top ratings from most major credit agencies signal virtually no risk of a default.

Lately, though, the trend among many Wall Street ­practitioners is to outdo one another with grandiose statements about how much risk is actually embedded within the $14.9 trillion ­Treasury market. By their logic, after years of rock-bottom interest rates as the global economy recovered from the post-­crisis recession, rates are destined to head higher—and in a hurry. The most common shorthand for this doomsday scenario: the bond bear market.

#lazy-img-328222250:before{padding-top:133.33333333333331%;}Matt Chase for Bloomberg Markets

At first glance, it’s an easy call. The bull run has lasted three decades, pushing yields on 10-year U.S. Treasury notes from as high as 15.8 percent in 1981 to 1.32 percent in 2016. Across the Atlantic, yields have turned negative in Germany, France, and Switzerland. Same in Japan. Paying governments, in effect, for the privilege of owning their debt? Surely that’s not sustainable.

Top 10 Financial Stocks To Watch Right Now: First Community Corporation(FCCO)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Logan Wallace]

    Get a free copy of the Zacks research report on First Community (FCCO)

    For more information about research offerings from Zacks Investment Research, visit Zacks.com

  • [By Shane Hupp]

    First Community (NASDAQ:FCCO) issued its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday. The bank reported $0.35 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.31 by $0.04, Fidelity Earnings reports. The business had revenue of $11.17 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $10.83 million. First Community had a net margin of 13.91% and a return on equity of 8.23%.

Top 10 Financial Stocks To Watch Right Now: Virtus Investment Partners Inc.(VRTS)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Ethan Ryder]

    BW Gestao de Investimentos Ltda. grew its holdings in Virtus Investment Partners Inc (NASDAQ:VRTS) by 12.9% during the first quarter, according to the company in its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The firm owned 9,490 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock after acquiring an additional 1,082 shares during the period. BW Gestao de Investimentos Ltda. owned about 0.13% of Virtus Investment Partners worth $1,175,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

  • [By Joseph Griffin]

    BidaskClub lowered shares of Virtus Investment Partners (NASDAQ:VRTS) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report released on Tuesday morning.

    A number of other research firms also recently commented on VRTS. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Virtus Investment Partners from a hold rating to a buy rating and set a $147.00 price objective for the company in a report on Thursday, March 15th. Sandler O’Neill restated a hold rating and set a $142.00 price objective on shares of Virtus Investment Partners in a report on Thursday, March 15th. TheStreet downgraded Virtus Investment Partners from a b rating to a c+ rating in a report on Wednesday, February 14th. Morgan Stanley lowered their price target on Virtus Investment Partners from $136.00 to $135.00 and set an equal weight rating for the company in a report on Tuesday, April 10th. Finally, Barclays lowered their price target on Virtus Investment Partners from $140.00 to $130.00 and set an equal weight rating for the company in a report on Monday, April 23rd. Nine research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and one has given a buy rating to the company. Virtus Investment Partners presently has an average rating of Hold and an average price target of $138.13.

Top 10 Financial Stocks To Watch Right Now: Ishares Trust Dj Us Financial (IYF)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Todd Shriber, ETF Professor]

    The challenges facing EUFN may indicate the ETF will be challenged to deliver compelling risk-reward for investors. EUFN's three-year standard deviation is 18.23 percent, or more than 500 basis points above the same metric on the iShares U.S. Financials ETF (NYSE: IYF).

Top 10 Financial Stocks To Watch Right Now: American International Group Inc.(AIG)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Logan Wallace]

    Sentry Investment Management LLC lessened its holdings in American International Group (NYSE:AIG) by 8.6% during the first quarter, HoldingsChannel reports. The firm owned 64,968 shares of the insurance provider’s stock after selling 6,147 shares during the quarter. Sentry Investment Management LLC’s holdings in American International Group were worth $3,536,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

  • [By Lee Jackson]

    American International Group Inc. (NYSE: AIG) was only a DJIA member for four years when it was removed on September 22, 2008. In an ironical twist, AIG was replaced with Kraft Foods, which only lasted about four years on the index. AIG was removed during the credit and mortgage crisis and was ejected after the government propped up the insurer with stimulus funds. The shares closed most recently at $55.43.

  • [By Logan Wallace]

    Gifford Fong Associates acquired a new position in shares of American International Group (NYSE:AIG) in the first quarter, according to its most recent 13F filing with the SEC. The institutional investor acquired 44,100 shares of the insurance provider’s stock, valued at approximately $2,400,000.

  • [By Stephan Byrd]

    Suntrust Banks Inc. boosted its position in shares of American International Group Inc (NYSE:AIG) by 12.4% in the first quarter, according to the company in its most recent 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 36,736 shares of the insurance provider’s stock after purchasing an additional 4,048 shares during the period. Suntrust Banks Inc.’s holdings in American International Group were worth $1,998,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

Top 10 Financial Stocks To Watch Right Now: Potlatch Corporation(PCH)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Joseph Griffin]

    Sei Investments Co. grew its position in Potlatchdeltic Corp (NASDAQ:PCH) by 39.9% during the 1st quarter, HoldingsChannel reports. The firm owned 68,663 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock after acquiring an additional 19,589 shares during the quarter. Sei Investments Co.’s holdings in Potlatchdeltic were worth $3,574,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

  • [By Stephan Byrd]

    Shares of Potlatchdeltic Corp (NASDAQ:PCH) have received an average recommendation of “Hold” from the nine ratings firms that are currently covering the stock, MarketBeat reports. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell recommendation, five have assigned a hold recommendation and three have issued a buy recommendation on the company. The average twelve-month target price among analysts that have covered the stock in the last year is $49.60.

  • [By Stephan Byrd]

    Teachers Insurance & Annuity Association of America bought a new position in PotlatchDeltic (NASDAQ:PCH) during the first quarter, according to its most recent 13F filing with the SEC. The institutional investor bought 78,505 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock, valued at approximately $4,086,000. Teachers Insurance & Annuity Association of America owned approximately 0.19% of PotlatchDeltic at the end of the most recent reporting period.

Top 10 Financial Stocks To Watch Right Now: First Capital Bancorp Inc.(VA)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Logan Wallace]

    News headlines about Virgin America (NASDAQ:VA) have trended somewhat positive recently, according to Accern Sentiment Analysis. The research group identifies negative and positive news coverage by analyzing more than 20 million news and blog sources. Accern ranks coverage of publicly-traded companies on a scale of negative one to one, with scores closest to one being the most favorable. Virgin America earned a news impact score of 0.22 on Accern’s scale. Accern also assigned media coverage about the transportation company an impact score of 45.3779505917989 out of 100, meaning that recent news coverage is somewhat unlikely to have an effect on the company’s share price in the immediate future.

  • [By Peter Graham]

    A long term performance chart shows JetBlue Airways Corporation giving a good performance thats still not as good as that of large cap Southwest Airlines Co (NYSE: LUV) while the performance ofAlaska Air Group, Inc (NYSE: ALK), which has acquired Virgin America Inc (NASDAQ: VA), seems to have slipped recently:

Top 10 Financial Stocks To Watch Right Now: First Bancorp(FBNC)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Max Byerly]

    First Bancorp (NASDAQ:FBNC) was downgraded by stock analysts at ValuEngine from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a note issued to investors on Monday.

  • [By Stephan Byrd]

    First Bancorp (NASDAQ:FBNC) has been assigned a consensus recommendation of “Buy” from the seven brokerages that are covering the company, Marketbeat Ratings reports. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and five have issued a buy rating on the company. The average 1-year price objective among brokerages that have issued ratings on the stock in the last year is $41.50.

Top 10 Financial Stocks To Watch Right Now: W.R. Berkley Corporation(WRB)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Stephan Byrd]

    Get a free copy of the Zacks research report on W. R. Berkley (WRB)

    For more information about research offerings from Zacks Investment Research, visit Zacks.com

  • [By Ethan Ryder]

    ValuEngine cut shares of W. R. Berkley (NYSE:WRB) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report released on Monday morning.

    WRB has been the topic of a number of other research reports. Bank of America cut shares of W. R. Berkley from a neutral rating to an underperform rating and set a $74.00 target price on the stock. in a report on Thursday, June 14th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Zacks Investment Research cut shares of W. R. Berkley from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report on Tuesday, February 20th. Boenning Scattergood restated a hold rating on shares of W. R. Berkley in a report on Wednesday, April 25th. Finally, Goldman Sachs Group started coverage on shares of W. R. Berkley in a report on Monday. They set a sell rating and a $74.00 target price on the stock. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Four analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating and eight have issued a hold rating to the stock. W. R. Berkley currently has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $70.78.

  • [By Logan Wallace]

    W. R. Berkley (NYSE: WRB) and State Auto Financial (NASDAQ:STFC) are both finance companies, but which is the superior investment? We will compare the two companies based on the strength of their valuation, institutional ownership, dividends, earnings, profitability, analyst recommendations and risk.

  • [By Joseph Griffin]

    Get a free copy of the Zacks research report on W. R. Berkley (WRB)

    For more information about research offerings from Zacks Investment Research, visit Zacks.com

Top 10 Financial Stocks To Watch Right Now: Templeton Dragon Fund Inc.(TDF)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Shane Hupp]

    Templeton Dragon Fund Inc common stock (NYSE:TDF) major shareholder City Of London Investment Grou bought 8,155 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, June 12th. The shares were purchased at an average price of $22.87 per share, with a total value of $186,504.85. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Major shareholders that own at least 10% of a company’s shares are required to disclose their transactions with the SEC.

Top 10 Financial Stocks To Watch Right Now: RenaissanceRe Holdings Ltd.(RNR)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Logan Wallace]

    RenaissanceRe (NYSE: RNR) is one of 73 publicly-traded companies in the “Fire, marine, & casualty insurance” industry, but how does it compare to its rivals? We will compare RenaissanceRe to similar companies based on the strength of its dividends, earnings, analyst recommendations, institutional ownership, valuation, risk and profitability.

  • [By Shane Hupp]

    Earnest Partners LLC grew its holdings in shares of RenaissanceRe Holdings Ltd. (NYSE:RNR) by 2.1% during the first quarter, according to its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The firm owned 307,192 shares of the insurance provider’s stock after purchasing an additional 6,389 shares during the period. Earnest Partners LLC’s holdings in RenaissanceRe were worth $42,549,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

Top 5 Financial Stocks For 2019

Consumer and corporate borrowing has rebounded this year, and the economy looks to book its third consecutive quarter over 3% growth for the final three months of the year. That would have shares of financial institutions booming were it not for two factors working against the industry.

Shares of banks have underperformed this year on a narrow net interest margin, the difference between long-term and short-term rates, and continued regulatory costs from post-crisis legislation. The SPDR S&P Bank ETF (NYSE: KBE) has returned just 3.3% this year versus a 15% increase in the broader S&P 500 index.

Despite increases in the short-term benchmark rate by the Federal Reserve and more on the way, higher rates on the short end of the yield curve haven’t translated to higher long-term rates. Subdued inflation and fears over long-term economic growth have kept the rate on the 10-year Treasury well under 3% all year.

That means the net interest spread, the difference between the rate paid by banks on deposits and what they collect on longer-term loans, has held back profits.

Top 5 Financial Stocks For 2019: iShares MSCI All Peru Capped ETF (EPU)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Max Byerly]

    iShares MSCI All Peru Capped Index Fund (BMV:EPU) declared a semiannual dividend on Wednesday, June 20th, Wall Street Journal reports. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, June 20th will be given a dividend of 0.3845 per share on Monday, June 25th. This represents a yield of 1.91%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, June 19th.

Top 5 Financial Stocks For 2019: Brookline Bancorp Inc.(BRKL)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Joseph Griffin]

    Brookline Bancorp (NASDAQ: BRKL) and People's United Financial (NASDAQ:PBCT) are both finance companies, but which is the better investment? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their institutional ownership, valuation, earnings, profitability, risk, analyst recommendations and dividends.

  • [By Joseph Griffin]

    These are some of the headlines that may have effected Accern Sentiment Analysis’s scoring:

    Get Brookline Bancorp alerts:

    Head to Head Analysis: Brookline Bancorp (BRKL) & Kearny Financial (KRNY) (americanbankingnews.com) Head-To-Head Contrast: Brookline Bancorp (BRKL) versus Northfield Bancorp (NFBK) (americanbankingnews.com) The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Kforce, Burlington Stores, Brookline Bancorp, Federated National Holding and Salem Media Group (finance.yahoo.com) Brookline Bancorp (BRKL) vs. Charter Financial (CHFN) Critical Comparison (americanbankingnews.com)

    A number of equities research analysts have recently issued reports on the company. BidaskClub upgraded Brookline Bancorp from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday. ValuEngine upgraded Brookline Bancorp from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, May 23rd. Finally, Zacks Investment Research upgraded Brookline Bancorp from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $19.00 price target on the stock in a research note on Wednesday, May 16th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, two have assigned a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $17.17.

  • [By Stephan Byrd]

    Brookline Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:BRKL) – Equities research analysts at Piper Jaffray upped their Q3 2018 EPS estimates for shares of Brookline Bancorp in a research report issued on Thursday, May 3rd. Piper Jaffray analyst M. Breese now anticipates that the bank will post earnings of $0.28 per share for the quarter, up from their prior estimate of $0.27. Piper Jaffray has a “Hold” rating and a $16.50 price objective on the stock. Piper Jaffray also issued estimates for Brookline Bancorp’s Q4 2018 earnings at $0.29 EPS, FY2018 earnings at $1.08 EPS, Q1 2019 earnings at $0.29 EPS, Q3 2019 earnings at $0.30 EPS and FY2019 earnings at $1.18 EPS.

Top 5 Financial Stocks For 2019: First Community Corporation(FCCO)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Logan Wallace]

    Get a free copy of the Zacks research report on First Community (FCCO)

    For more information about research offerings from Zacks Investment Research, visit Zacks.com

  • [By Shane Hupp]

    First Community (NASDAQ:FCCO) issued its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday. The bank reported $0.35 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.31 by $0.04, Fidelity Earnings reports. The business had revenue of $11.17 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $10.83 million. First Community had a net margin of 13.91% and a return on equity of 8.23%.

Top 5 Financial Stocks For 2019: Barclays PLC(BCS)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Garrett Baldwin]

    Some of this sentiment has been fueled by optimism that UK investment bank Barclays Plc. (NYSE: BCS) is looking to open a cryptocurrency trading desk in the months ahead.

  • [By Garrett Baldwin]

    Investors are becoming increasingly bullish about BTC, as financial institutions like Barclays Plc. (NYSE: BCS) become more interested in entering the cryptocurrency market.

  • [By Zacks]

    Last week, Barclays (NYSE: BCS) acquired £4.3 billion ($5.8 billion) worth of Irish residential mortgage loans from Lloyds Banking Group (NYSE: LYG). The portfolio comprises around 27,000 mortgages, originated between 2004 and 2010. Of the total loans acquired, nearly £300 million are impaired.

  • [By Max Byerly]

    Press coverage about Barclays (NYSE:BCS) has trended somewhat positive recently, Accern Sentiment Analysis reports. The research firm scores the sentiment of press coverage by reviewing more than 20 million blog and news sources in real time. Accern ranks coverage of public companies on a scale of -1 to 1, with scores closest to one being the most favorable. Barclays earned a daily sentiment score of 0.17 on Accern’s scale. Accern also assigned media coverage about the financial services provider an impact score of 45.4019094998773 out of 100, indicating that recent press coverage is somewhat unlikely to have an effect on the company’s share price in the near term.

Top 5 Financial Stocks For 2019: HSBC Holdings PLC (HSBA)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Joseph Griffin]

    HSBC (LON:HSBA) had its target price lowered by equities research analysts at Shore Capital from GBX 721 ($9.60) to GBX 625 ($8.32) in a report issued on Tuesday. The brokerage presently has a “sell” rating on the financial services provider’s stock. Shore Capital’s price objective indicates a potential downside of 14.71% from the company’s previous close.

  • [By Ethan Ryder]

    HSBC (LON:HSBA) had its price target dropped by equities research analysts at Citigroup from GBX 810 ($10.78) to GBX 800 ($10.65) in a report released on Tuesday. The brokerage currently has a “buy” rating on the financial services provider’s stock. Citigroup’s price target points to a potential upside of 9.59% from the stock’s previous close.

Top 5 Financial Stocks To Watch Right Now

&l;p&g;&l;img class=&q;dam-image getty size-large wp-image-1176059&q; src=&q;https://specials-images.forbesimg.com/dam/imageserve/1176059/960×0.jpg?fit=scale&q; data-height=&q;641&q; data-width=&q;960&q;&g; MARGATE, FLORIDA – JULY 26: Anita Dante, in her late 60&s;s, searches for a job in a local newspaper&s;s classified section at her home July 26, 2002 in Margate, Florida. After working for most of her life, Dante had planned on retiring, but her plans have changed. A financial advisor explained that she should be more aggressive in her investments approximately 2 1/2 years ago. Dante has since lost most of her retirement nest egg and must now get a job to continue to support herself. Like Anita Dante, many people around the U.S., who are reaching retirement age, are having to rethink their strategy with investments plummeting and 401 (k) saving plans shrinking. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Retirement is supposed to be stress-free, the time to enjoy the &q;golden years&q; in life, or what I refer to as &a;ldquo;sleeping well at night&a;rdquo;.

Top 5 Financial Stocks To Watch Right Now: SL Green Realty Corporation(SLG)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Nelson Hem]

    “Manhattan on Sale? That’s the Case With Two Cheap REITS” by Andrew Bary discusses whether Manhattan-focused real estate investment trusts Vornado Realty Trust (NYSE: VNO) and SL Green Realty Corp (NYSE: SLG) could rally as the New York market firms. Both trade at a discount to the value of private-market property deals, says the article.

Top 5 Financial Stocks To Watch Right Now: First Community Corporation(FCCO)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Shane Hupp]

    First Community (NASDAQ:FCCO) issued its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday. The bank reported $0.35 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.31 by $0.04, Fidelity Earnings reports. The business had revenue of $11.17 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $10.83 million. First Community had a net margin of 13.91% and a return on equity of 8.23%.

Top 5 Financial Stocks To Watch Right Now: Swedish Export Credit Corp (GRU)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Casey Wilson]

    Investing in commodity-based ETFs (exchange-traded funds) or ETNs (exchange-traded notes) is a great way to gain exposure to a specific commodity, like corn (NYSE Arca: CORN), livestock (NYSE Arca: COW), or grains (NYSE Arca: GRU).

Top 5 Financial Stocks To Watch Right Now: Ishares Trust Dj Us Financial (IYF)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Wayne Duggan]

    Investors looking to set up a pair trade to capitalize on the divergent paths of U.S. and European banks should consider going long the iShares Dow Jones US Financial (ETF) (NYSE: IYF) and short the Ishares MSCI Europe Fincls Sctr Indx Fd (NASDAQ: EUFN).

Top 5 Financial Stocks To Watch Right Now: Petroleum Resources Corporation(PEO)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Lisa Levin]

    In trading on Wednesday, financial shares fell 0.13 percent. Meanwhile, top losers in the sector included Adams Natural Resources Fund Inc (NYSE: PEO), down 4 percent, and Old Point Financial Corporation (NASDAQ: OPOF) down 3 percent.