Financials Higher on Earnings, Tax Hopes -- Financials Roundup

Features Dow Jones Newswires

Banks, lenders and other financial companies rose as earnings continued to come in strong and as Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin promised that the Trump administration would soon release an economically friendly tax-overhaul bill.

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But many observers, including analysts at brokerage Morgan Stanley, are skeptical that conservatives in the Republican Party, who split with the Trump camp over health-care reform, will rally around the tax bill.

While some have expressed a readiness to consider a deficit-expansion tax strategy, it is unclear how far down that road they are willing to go, said the Morgan Stanley analyst.

Blackstone rose after the operator of leveraged-buyout and other investment funds posted an increase in quarterly earnings and pledged to pay investors one of its largest- ever dividends.

High frequency trading firm Virtu Financial struck a deal to acquire rival KCG Holdings for $1.4 billion in cash, as tough market conditions force automated trading firms to consolidate.

Despite the recent downdraft, most technical indicators, such as the 50- and 200-day moving averages, remain in positive territory, said Burt White, chief investment officer at brokerage LPL Financial.

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Rob Curran, rob.curran@dowjones.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

April 20, 2017 17:32 ET (21:32 GMT)