Canadian insurer Manulife Financial Corp. (MFC) is considering a spinoff or initial public offering for its John Hancock unit, sources told the Wall Street Journal Thursday. 

The move would be in response to low interest rates, which has been a drain on the insurance sector. Rivals Metlife Inc. (MET) and AXA SA (AXAHY) have already shaved off large portions of their businesses in response to the Federal Reserve's rates. 

Manulife has been under pressure from shareholders for years to sell Hancock, its U.S. unit. 

What's Hot On TheStreet

How can we argue with this one: Shark Tank Star Kevin O'Leary is more fond of Tesla's (TSLA) product than its stock.

"At some point it has to fall to gravity," he said told TheStreet's Scott Gamm in an interview. "It's been trading on a different planet for years and now it has to trade on Earth." Amen.

Relax Apple stock bulls: For now, reports suggest a moderate delay in the Apple (AAPL) iPhone 8 ramp, rather than something more severe points out TheStreet's Eric Jhonsa. So far, the market has shrugged off concerns on a possible delayed iPhone 8 release (as in it misses the holiday launch window). But it's worthwhile to keep something in mind: Apple shares have lagged the S&P 500 over the past month, so some doubt may be trickling into the bull camp.

Further, key Apple supplier Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSM) just served up some uninspiring figuresthat suggest waning smartphone demand.

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