All four major S&P 500 financial sub-indexes trailed the S&P 500's 3.3% return in August. Over the past year, only the S&P 500 Bank Index has outgained the S&P 500, posting a 22.2% return compared to 19.7% for the main index.
Health Insurance Innovations Inc., an online insurance broker, led major-exchange-traded U.S. financial institutions last month, returning 59.1%. HII's stock jumped 16% on Aug. 2, a day after the company reported record quarterly revenue and revised full-year guidance higher. Benefitfocus Inc., an insurance technology company, and Cardtronics PLC, a payments company, posted the second- and third-highest returns for the month at 46.5% and 38.6%, respectively.
Meanwhile, Diebold Nixdorf Inc., a payments company, was the worst performer among major exchange-traded financial stocks, losing 58.1% in August. Diebold's stock fell by 37.9% on Aug. 1 after the company announced second-quarter results and lowered full-year guidance. A few days later, S&P Global Ratings downgraded the company's issuer credit rating to B from BB-, citing high leverage.
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