A mixed bag of economic numbers kept financial stocks down slightly with insurance companies losing the most value on the day.
A number of retailers reported better-than-expected sales, though the figures were by no means great. Meanwhile, jobless claims in the first week of May fell 18,000 to 365,000, a dip of 5,000 more than expected.
Elsewhere, the White House threatened to veto a package of housing measures that included new rules for mortgage lenders
( FNM) and
( FRE). Both of the government sponsored lenders finished lower, with Fannie Mae giving back 4.9% to $27.63 and Freddie shedding 2.2% to $25.43.
Overall, financial stocks were down, with the
Financial Sector Index declining 50.82 to 7,654.50.
Accident and health insurer
shaved 11.7% off its share value after missing analysts' first-quarter estimates. Its Bankers Life operations only delivered pre-tax income of $29.1 million, as opposed to the $70 million that was expected. The stock lost $1.41 to trade at $10.61.
also turned in a losing first quarter as a few large claims on policies issued years ago hurt profits. The Hartford, Conn.-based insurer saw its operating income drop 58% and recorded a loss of 17 cents per share. The stock plunged 13.1% to $11.
Fortress Investment Group
shares slipped 6.3% after the company reported a loss of $69 million, vs. last year's profit of $62 million. The stock closed down 91 cents to $13.65.
slipped 3.1% after the Swiss banking giant returned $35 million to Massachusetts cities and other municipalities that bought auction-rate securities they could not unload. The state's attorney general earlier this year began investigating whether the bank misled the municipalities about whether the securities were permissible investments for them under state law. Shares were off $1 to $31.05.
On the upside,
shot up 14.4% to $5.79, after it reported delinquencies fell by 4.6% in the first quarter vs. the same period last year. The stock climbed despite the company's income from continuing operations declining by half from the year-ago period.