At Least August Wasnt July
NU Stock Analyst
In July, insurance stocks suffered the worst one-month collapse your columnist can recall. Then in August our depressed specialty tried to catch a rally in the general market but couldnt quite hold on. Investors were not encouraged.
The 114 stocks we priced ended off 4.19% for the month of August. There were 38 advances and 76 losers, which easily indicates twice as many losers as gainers. Perhaps the best that can be said for insurance stocks in August is that they were far better performers than in that disastrous July, when there were only 13 advances versus 101 declines!
As often happens in a dark month, there were bright spots. Two of the industry groups made it to the upside. The Financial Services sector was ahead a modest 3.15%, and the Brokers crept up 1.42%. It was a particularly impressive rebound for the Brokers, who had been hammered down 10.86% in Julys very painful selloff.
There were no big gainers in either group, just some single-digit advances and a scarcity of declining issues.
Among the broker stocks, Clark/Bardes Holdings led with a 5.46% gain.
The rest of the sectors, all of them below break even, suffered retreats between 2.85% for the service companies, to 6.70% for the Life & Health issues.