Weak Finish for Financial Stocks

Financial stocks provided a large drag on the broader U.S. markets today, with the NYSE Financial Sector Index dropping nearly 1.0% while financial companies in the S&P 500 Index recorded a 1.1% decrease.

In company news, Lendingtree (TREE) has turned higher in late Friday trade, with shares of the online consumer lender recently benefiting from a pair of brokerages raising their respective price targets for the company’s stock. RBC Capital Markets increased its price target for Lendingtree shares by $20 to $140 apiece and also reiterating its existing Outperform investment recommendation. Mizuho, which is keeping its Buy rating for the stock, bumped its price target by $15 to $135 a share.

The moves follow Lendingtree early yesterday reporting above-consensus Q4 financial results. Excluding one-time items, the company earned $0.87 per share, retreating from a $2.69 a share adjusted profit during the same quarter last year and beating the Capital IQ consensus by $0.09 per share. Revenue climbed 28.7% to $100.8 million, surpassing the $97.3 million Street view.

By Bryan Smith