Investors on Wall Street were looking to start the trading week on a bright note Monday as stock futures were mostly flat.
Oil prices were in focus.
Benchmark crude oil for November delivery declined 83 cents to $99.98 in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract added 14 cents on Friday to close at $100.81. The move below $100 is the first for several months.
Ahead of the market open, Dow Jones industrial average index futures and Standard & Poor’s 500 index futures were mostly flat and Nasdaq index futures were up 0.2%.
Stocks climbed on Friday. The S&P 500 rose 0.7% to close at an all-time high of 1,744.50. The Dow gained 0.2% to 15,399.65 and the Nasdaq surged 1.3% to 3,914.28.
At the tail end of last week investors appeared to put behind them concern over the U.S. budget deal and China released an economic report that showed that growth there accelerated to 7.8%.
5 Best Insurance Stocks To Buy Right Now: Aviva PLC (AVV)
Aviva plc (Aviva) is an insurance group engaged in provision of products and services, such as long-term insurance and savings, fund management and general insurance. Aviva provides long-term insurance and savings, general and health insurance, and fund management products and services. Its business is managed on four geographic regions: United Kingdom, Europe, North America and Asia Pacific. The four regions, together with Aviva Investors, function as six operating segments. The UK region is split into the UK Life and UK General Insurance segments, which undertake long-term insurance and savings business and general insurance, respectively. In April 2013, it transferred its holding in Spanish joint venture Aseval to Bankia. In October 2013, Aviva sold Aviva USA Corporation to Athene Holding Ltd. Effective December 12, 2013, Redefine International Plc, a unit of Redefine Properties Ltd, acquired Weston Favell Shopping Centre from Aviva Commercial Finance Ltd, a unit of Aviva plc. Advisors’ Opinion:
- [By Namitha Jagadeesh]
Kabel Deutschland Holding AG rose to a record after getting an offer from Liberty Global Plc. Aveva Group Plc (AVV) jumped 5.4 percent as Citigroup Inc. upgraded the shares. Danske Bank A/S (DANSKE) dropped 6.1 percent after Denmark’s financial regulator ordered it to increase its risk-weighted assets. Royal Imtech NV fell to the lowest price since 2004 after posting a first-quarter loss on costs relating to a fraud investigation.
5 Best Insurance Stocks To Buy Right Now: Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. (AJG)
Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. (Gallagher), along with its subsidiaries, provides insurance brokerage and third-party claims settlement, and administration services to entities in the United States and abroad. It operates in three segments: brokerage, risk management and corporate. The Brokerage segment primarily consists of retail and wholesale insurance brokerage operations. The Company’s risk management segment provides contract claim settlement and administration services for enterprises that choose to self-insure some or all of their property/casualty coverages and for insurance companies that choose to outsource some or all of their property/casualty claims departments. Majority of its international brokerage operations are in Australia, Bermuda, Canada and the United Kingdom. Its international risk management operations are principally in Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United Kingdom. The Company operates in Australia and Canada primarily as a retail commercial property and casualty broker. In December 2013, the Company announced that it has completed the acquisition of Barmore Insurance Agency, Inc. In December 2013, Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. acquired McIntyre Risk Management, LLC. In December 2013, the Company acquired Cleaveland Insurance Group and Jenkins and Associates. Effective December 26, 2013, Arthur J Gallagher & Co acquired Rock Island-based Cleaveland Insurance Group. In February 2014, Arthur J. Gallagher & Co acquired Benefit Development Group of Selma, Alabama. In February 2014, Arthur J. Gallagher & Co announced the acquisition of Kent, Kent & Tingle in Shreveport, Louisiana.
The Company’s retail brokerage operations negotiate and place property/casualty, employer-provided health and welfare insurance and retirement solutions principally for middle-market commercial, industrial, public entity, religious and not-for-profit entities. Many of the Company’s retail brokera ge customers choose to place their insurance with insurance ! underwriters, while others choose to use alternative vehicles, such as self-insurance pools, risk retention groups or captive insurance companies. Its wholesale brokerage operations assist its brokers and other unaffiliated brokers and agents in the placement of specialized, and hard-to-place insurance programs.
The Company’s primary sources of compensation for its retail brokerage services are commissions paid by insurance carriers. It operates its brokerage operations through a network of more than 300 sales and service offices located throughout the United States and in 16 other countries. In addition, the Company offers client-service capabilities in more than 110 countries worldwide through a network of correspondent brokers and consultants. The Company’s retail brokerage operations place all lines of commercial property/casualty and health and welfare insurance coverage. Its retail brokerage operations are organized in more than 190 geographical center s located in the United States, Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom and operate within certain key niche/practice groups, which account for approximately 67% of its retail brokerage revenues.
During the year ended December 31, 2011, the Company’s wholesale insurance brokerage operations accounted for 22% of its brokerage segment revenues. Its wholesale brokers assist its retail brokers and other non-affiliated brokers in the placement of specialized and hard-to-place insurance. These brokers operate through over 65 geographical centers located across the United States, Bermuda and through its approved Lloyd’s of London brokerage operation. In certain cases, it acts as a brokerage wholesaler, and in other cases, it acts as a managing general agent or managing general underwriter distributing specialized insurance coverages for insurance carriers. Over 75% of the Company’s wholesale brokerage revenues come from non-affiliated brokerage customers.
Risk Management Segment
The Company’s ! risk mana! gement segment provides contract claim settlement and administration services for enterprises that choose to self-insure some or all of their property/casualty coverages and for insurance companies that choose to outsource some or all of their property/casualty claims departments. During 2011, approximately 67% of its risk management segment’s revenues were from workers compensation related claims, 26% were from general and commercial auto liability related claims and 7% were from property related claims. In addition, it generate revenues from integrated disability management (employee absence management) programs, information services, risk control consulting (loss control) services and appraisal services, either individually or in combination with arising claims. The Company manages its third-party claims adjusting operations through a network of approximately 110 offices located throughout the United States, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United Kingdom.
The Company competes with Aon Corporation, Marsh & McLennan Companies, Inc., Willis Group Holdings, Ltd., Wells Fargo Insurance Services, Inc., Brown & Brown Inc., Hub International Ltd., Lockton Companies, Inc., USI Holdings Corporation, Aon Hewitt, Towers Watson & Co., Crump Group, Inc., CRC Insurance Services, Inc., RT Specialty, AmWINS Group, Inc., Swett & Crawford Group, Inc., Sedgwick Claims Management Services, Inc., Crawford & Company, ACE Limited, AIG Insurance and Zurich Insurance.
- [By Marc Bastow]
Insurance brokerage and third-party claims settlement claims company Arthur J. Gallagher (AJG) raised its quarterly dividend 3% to 36 cents per share, payable on Mar. 20 to shareholders of record as of Mar. 4.
AJG Dividend Yield: 3.00%
- [By Ben Levisohn]
Ameren Corp. (AEE)
Arthur J. Gallagher (AJG)
E.I. DuPont de Nemours & Co. (DD)
Enterprise Products Partners LP (EPD)
General Mills (GIS)
H&R Block (HRB)
Hancock Holding (HBHC)
Kraft Foods Group (KRFT)
Magellan Midstream Partners LP (MMP)
MarkWest Energy Partners L P (MWE)
Microchip Technology (MCHP)
NextEra Energy (NEE)
Regency Centers (REG)
TELUS Corp. (TU)
West Corp. (WSTC)
Williams Companies (WMB)
- [By Rich Duprey]
Expanding its presence in the United Kingdom, insurance provider Arthur J. Gallagher (NYSE: AJG ) will acquire the U.K.-based Property & Commercial Limited from Barbon Insurance Group, the country’s largest provider of tenant references, the largest provider of rent guarantee, and one of the largest brokers to the social housing sector.
- [By Jonas Elmerraji]
We’re seeing the same exact price setup in shares of mid-cap insurance broker Arthur J. Gallagher (AJG) — just in the shorter-term. AJG has been forming an ascending triangle setup of its own since the beginning of May, hitting its head on resistance at $45.50. That’s the breakout level to watch in shares this week.
Whenever you’re looking at any technical price pattern, it’s critical to think in terms of buyers and sellers. Ascending triangles and other price pattern names are a good quick way to explain what’s going on in this stock, but they’re not the reason it’s tradable. Instead, it all comes down to supply and demand for shares.
That resistance line at $45.50 is a price where there’s an excess of supply of shares; in other words, it’s a place where sellers have been more eager to take recent gains and sell their shares than buyers have been to buy. That’s what makes the move above it so significant — a breakout indicates that buyers are finally strong enough to absorb all of the excess supply above that price level. Wait for that signal to happen before you jump into this stock.
5 Best Insurance Stocks To Buy Right Now: First American Financial Corp (FAF)
First American Financial Corporation, incorporated on January 14, 2008, through its subsidiaries, is engaged in the business of providing financial services through its title insurance and services segment and its specialty insurance segment. The Company operates in two segments: title insurance and services and specialty insurance.
The title insurance and services segment provides title insurance, closing and/or escrow services and similar or related services domestically and internationally in connection with residential and commercial real estate transactions. It also maintains, manages and provides access to title plant records and images and provides banking, trust and investment advisory services. The specialty insurance segment issues property and casualty insurance policies and sells home warranty products. In addition, its corporate function consists of certain financing facilities as well as the corporate services that support its business operation s.
Title Insurance and Services Segment
The Company’s title insurance and services segment issues title insurance policies on residential and commercial property in the United States and offers similar or related products and services internationally. This segment also provides closing and/or escrow services; accommodates tax-deferred exchanges of real estate; maintains, manages and provides access to title plant records and images, and provides banking, trust and investment advisory services. The Company conducts its title insurance and closing business through a network of direct operations and agents. Through this network, it issues policies in the 49 states that permit the issuance of title insurance policies and the District of Columbia. The Company also offers title insurance, closing services and similar or related products and services, either directly or through third parties in foreign countries, including Canada, the United Kingdom, A ustralia and various other markets.
The Company! distributes its title insurance policies and related products and services directly as well as through its agents through various channels. Its federal savings bank subsidiary offers trust and investment advisory services, deposit services and asset management services. As of December 31, 2012, the Company provides products and services in numerous countries outside of the United States, and its international operations accounted for approximately 7.9% of its title insurance and services segment revenues
Specialty Insurance Segment
The Company’s property and casualty insurance business provides insurance coverage to residential homeowners and renters for liability losses and typical hazards, such as fire, theft, vandalism and other types of property damage. The Company is licensed to issue policies in all 50 states and the District of Columbia and actively issue policies in 43 states. In its market, California, it also offers preferred risk aut o insurance to better compete with other carriers offering bundled home and auto insurance. Reinsurance is used to limit risk associated with natural disasters, such as windstorms, winter storms, wildfires and earthquakes.
The Company’s home warranty business provides residential service contracts that cover residential systems, such as heating and air conditioning systems, and certain appliances against failures that occur as the result of normal usage during the coverage period. Most of these policies are issued on resale residences, although policies are also available in some instances for new homes. Coverage is typically for one year and is renewable annually at the option of the contract holder and upon its approval. It sells renewals directly to consumers. As of December 31, 2012, home warranty business operates in 39 states and the District of Columbia.
The Company competes with Fidelity National Financial, Inc., Stewart Title Guaranty Com pany, Old Republic International Corporation and Lender Proc! essing Se! rvices, Inc.
- [By Marc Bastow]
The biggest increase among our dividend stocks this week came from title and specialty insurance management company First American Financial (FAF), which raised its quarterly dividend 100% to 24 cents per share, payable June 16 to shareholders of record as of June 9.
FAF Dividend Yield: 3.47%
- [By alicet236]
First American Financial Corp (FAF): CEO Dennis J Gilmore sold 116,453 Shares
CEO of First American Financial Corp (FAF) Dennis J Gilmore sold 116,453 shares on 02/04/2014 at an average price of $25.12. First American Financial Corporation was incorporated in the state of Delaware in January 2008 to serve as the holding company of The First American Corporation’s financial services business. First American Financial Corp has a market cap of $2.7 billion; its shares were traded at around $25.52 with a P/E ratio of 12.30 and P/S ratio of 0.56. The dividend yield of First American Financial Corp stocks is 1.88%.
- [By Canadian Value]
Position % of Fund Assets 1) First American Financial Corp. (FAF) 7.0% 2) Apple, Inc. (AAPL) 6.5% 3) Coinstar, Inc. (CSTR) 4.8% 4) EMC Corp. (EMC) 4.4% 5) Coach, Inc. (COH) 4.4% 6) Kohl’s Corp. (KSS) 4.1% 7) Blucora, Inc. (BCOR) 4.0% 8) Tetra Tech, Inc. (TTEK) 3.1% 9) OM Group, Inc. (OMG) 3.0% 10) American International Group, Inc. (AIG) 2.8% TOTAL 44.1% One area that we believe still offers some value in the market is in high quality, large‐cap technology stocks that may be momentarily out‐of‐favor as they transition from rapid growth to slower growth. In particular, we become interested when that transition is also accompanied by a change in capital allocation policies designed to return more cash to shareholders in the form of dividends and share repurchases. We believe that Apple and EMC are two of the absolute highest quality technology businesses in the world and both have recently announced very material, shareholder‐ friendly changes to how they will alloc ate capital.
- [By Jon C. Ogg]
First American Financial Corp. (NYSE: FAF) was raised to Outperform from Market Perform at Keefe Bruyette & Woods.
Fidelity National Financial Inc. (NYSE: FNF) was raised to Outperform from Market Perform at Keefe Bruyette & Woods.
5 Best Insurance Stocks To Buy Right Now: Old Republic International Corporation(ORI)
Old Republic International Corporation, through its subsidiaries, provides various insurance and mortgage guaranty products in North America. The company operates in three segments: General Insurance, Mortgage Guaranty, and Title Insurance. The General Insurance segment provides liability insurance coverages to businesses, government, and other institutions in commercial construction, forest products, energy, general manufacturing, and financial services industries; and transportation, including trucking and general aviation industries. It provides various insurance products, such as automobile extended warranty, aviation, commercial automobile insurance, general liability, home warranty, inland marine, travel accident, and workers? compensation, as well as liability coverage for claims arising from the acts of owners or employees, and protection for the physical assets of businesses. This segment also offers financial indemnity products, such as consumer credit indemnity , errors and omissions/directors and officers, guaranteed asset protection, and surety, as well as bonds that cover the exposures for losses of monies, or debt and equity securities due to acts of employee dishonesty. The Mortgage Guaranty segment insures first mortgage loans, primarily on residential properties incorporating one-to-four family dwelling units to mortgage bankers, brokers, commercial banks, and savings institutions. The Title Insurance segment provides lenders’ and owners’ title insurance policies to real estate purchasers and investors based upon searches of the public records. It also provides escrow closing and construction disbursement services; and real estate information products, national default management services, and services related to real estate transfers and loan transactions. Old Republic International Corporation markets its products directly, as well as through insurance agents and brokers. The company was founded in 1887 and is based in Chi cago, Illinois.
- [By Lawrence Meyers]
The part I like the most is that WGL sells energy credits and carbon offsets to retail customers. The company makes good money on these elements, selling to customers who just like to feel good about how they are “helping the environment”. WGL has a long history as an energy company and has paid a dividend for 37 years. It currently pays 4.3% annually.
Old Republic International (ORI)
The next of our dividend stocks is one you may have heard of: Old Republic International (ORI). Old Republic started back in 1887 and is an insurance company that offers a huge array of products. A lot of insurance products are very high margin, and Old Republic has mastered the art of selling these. Extended Automobile Warranty, Home Warranty an Travel Accident Insurance are great segments to be playing in.
- [By Marc Bastow]
Insurance underwriting company Old Republic (ORI) raised its quarterly dividend 5.8% to 18 cents per share, payable on Dec. 16 to shareholders of record as of Dec. 4.
ORI Dividend Yield: 4.28%
5 Best Insurance Stocks To Buy Right Now: Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd (FRFHF)
Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited (Fairfax) is a financial services holding company. The Company, through its subsidiaries, is principally engaged in property and casualty insurance and reinsurance and the associated investment management. The Company’s segments consist of Insurance, Reinsurance, Insurance and Reinsurance Other, Runoff, and Corporate and Other. On December 22, 2011, the Company completed the acquisition of 75% interests in Sporting Life Inc. On August 16, 2011, the Company acquired William Ashley China Corporation. On March 24, 2011, an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of Fairfax completed the acquisition of The Pacific Insurance Berhad. On February 9, 2011, an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of Fairfax completed the acquisition of First Mercury Financial Corporation. In October 2012, its RiverStone runoff subsidiary acquired all the outstanding shares of Brit Insurance Limited. Advisors’ Opinion:
- [By Charles Sizemore]
BlackBerry (BBRY) has been a value trap that has ensnared more than its share of value hunting investors in recent years — yours truly included. Buying BlackBerry stock will also likely go down in history as the single-worst investing mistake in the otherwise illustrious career of Prem Watsa — the chairman of Fairfax Financial (FRFHF) and the man commonly known as the “Warren Buffett of Canada.”
- [By Dan Caplinger]
That business model has been so successful that other, smaller insurance companies have emulated it. For instance, Fairfax Financial (NASDAQOTH: FRFHF ) and Markel (NYSE: MKL ) have used the same investing model to take advantage of their respective core insurance businesses. Both Fairfax and Markel have had substantial success, showing the power of using temporarily available premium reserves to make higher-return investments.