Additionally, there are pockets of strength within the sector, including insurance stocks.[related_stories]
U.S. life insurance premiums in 2015 grew at their fastest pace in four years as several large life insurers reversed the flat or negative growth rates they experienced in recent years. Life insurers in the U.S. combined to post 4.5% growth in direct written premiums in 2015, compared to 2.4% in 2014. The industry had a compound annual growth rate of 2.7% from 2011 to 2015. The figures are based on an analysis by S&P Global Market Intelligence of total direct premiums written data, which includes first year, single and renewal premiums of U.S. life insurers for the year ended Dec. 31, 2015.
“Bank shares could become more appealing if the companies can show a relatively healthy energy portfolio or that they are losing less money than expected on energy loans. Their forecasts might also strengthen if oil prices are in fact settling, as has seemed to be the case recently,” adds Reuters.
Financial Select Sector SPDR