NEW YORK, NY -- (Marketwire) -- 06/21/12 -- U.S. financial stocks led the way as the markets rallied Tuesday on optimism of stimulus from the Federal Reserve, a positive Spanish debt auction, and rise in U.S. building permits. The Financial Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLF), which tracks the performance of S&P 500 financial stocks, jumped over 2 percent, while the KBW Bank Index (BKX) jumped nearly 2.5 percent Tuesday. Five Star Equities examines the outlook for companies in the Financial Sector and provides equity research on Metlife Inc. (NYSE: MET) and Genworth Financial Inc. (NYSE: GNW).
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The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) began a two-day meeting Tuesday. Investors have been watching for a signal that the central bank would step in with additional easing or with an extension of their "Operation Twist" program, which extends maturities of central bank's bonds.
"I think the combination of growing optimism that the FOMC could announce the continuation of its Operation Twist tomorrow, speculation that the Greeks are close to forming a coalition government [and] easing Spanish debt yields... are all providing a tailwind for today's move higher," said Ryan Larson, head of equity trading at RBC Global Asset Management.
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MetLife is a leading global provider of insurance, annuities and employee benefit programs, serving 90 million customers. The company last month reported that four of its life insurance subsidiaries (Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, MetLife Investors USA Insurance Company, New England Life Insurance Company, and General American Life Insurance Company), approved an aggregate payment amount of approximately $1.36 billion in policy dividend payments to eligible life insurance policyholders for 2012.
Genworth Financial is a financial security company. It provides insurance, wealth management, investment and financial solutions. As of December 31, 2011, it had more than 15 million customers, with a presence in more than 25 countries. The company reported a first quarter net income of $47 million, compared with a net income of $59 million in the first quarter of 2011.
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