Financial stocks maintained their Friday advance in afternoon trading, supported by higher bond prices and with the NYSE Financial Index rising 0.9% while the SPDR Financial Select Sector ETF was ahead 1.5%.
The Philadelphia Housing Index also was climbing 2.3% after a larger-than-expected 0.6% increase in sales of previously owned homes during January. The median price of all homes sold last month also rose 14% year-over-year.
In company news, Redfin (RDFN) climbed almost 12% on Friday after the real estate brokerage announced its purchase of RentPath, the privately held owner of the Rent.com, Apartment.com and Rentals.com websites, for $608 million in cash. The RentPath network averaged 16 million monthly visitors during 2020 and generated $194 million last year, the companies said.
JMP Group (JMP) jumped out to a more than 36% gain on Friday after the investment banker overnight reported outsized increases in its Q4 profit over year-ago levels, with operating earnings rising to $0.42 per share from $0.01 per share during the final three months of 2019. Revenue climbed 125% year-over-year to $53.6 million, topping projections of the lone analyst tracking the company looking for a $0.15 per share Q4 profit on $32 million in revenue.
Stifel Financial (SF) rose 2.5% after Friday announcing its purchase of the future venture investment business of North Atlantic Capital based in Poland, Me. Financial terms were not disclosed but Stifel said the acquisition will further position it to manage small business investment corporations and venture capital funds.
Among decliners, HarborOne Bancorp (HONE) fell almost 1% after Piper Sandler lowered its stock rating for the bank holding company to neutral from overweight previously and also setting a $12 price target for HarborOne shares.