In the news
Republicans added a new amendment to the American Health Care Act just before leaving for their two-week congressional spring recess. The measure, which was introduced by Reps. Gary Palmer of Alabama and David Schweikert of Arizona and adopted in a 9-2 vote by the House Rules Committee, would create what the authors called an "invisible risk-sharing program" aimed at helping states reduce premiums by reimbursing health insurers for high-cost individuals.
Four severe weather events in the U.S. in March are estimated to cost the insurance industry more than $2.0 billion, according to a report from Aon Benfield's Impact Forecasting covering natural disaster events in March.
Large health insurers fared better than most insurance stocks during the week ending April 6 as regulatory overhang persisted and the industry approached earnings season, S&P Global Market Intelligence reported. The SNL Insurance Index held mostly steady for the week with a 0.13% gain to 885.69, while the S&P 500 fell slightly with a 0.22% drop to 2,357.49.
If the U.S. government's jobs data comes in higher than expected April 7, as a private employment report suggests is possible, historical precedent shows financial and industrial companies could outperform the market, S&P Global Market Intelligence reported.
The Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority, or PREPA, and its bondholders agreed to modify the terms of their debt restructuring agreement. The new deal could cut $1.5 billion in debt servicing costs in a span of five years, compared with a previous deal that had been pending since 2015. Assured Guaranty Ltd. President and CEO Dominic Frederico lauded the agreement in principle to modify the restructuring deal and called for its prompt execution. Assured Guaranty subsidiaries Assured Guaranty Municipal Corp. and Assured Guaranty Corp. are parties to the deal.
Florida-based Citizens Property Insurance Corp. is returning to the catastrophe bond market with a $250 million Everglades Re II Ltd. series 2017-1 deal, Artemis reported.
Security First Insurance Co. increased the target size for its First Coast Re Ltd. (Series 2017-1) catastrophe bond and lowered the price guidance, Artemis reported. The insurer is now targeting between $150 million and $200 million of reinsurance protection from the cat bond. The coupon price guidance was lowered to 4.25% to 4.5% from the previous guidance of 4.5% to 5%.
The pricing of Louisiana Citizens Property Insurance Corp.-sponsored catastrophe bond Pelican IV Re Ltd. series 2017-1 settled at 2.25%, the bottom end of the reduced coupon guidance of 2.25% to 2.75%, Artemis reported.
California Workers' Compensation Governing Committee plans to submit a July 1 average advisory premium rate of $2.02 per $100 of payroll, which is 7.8% lower than the $2.19 rate approved by the insurance commissioner, the Insurance Journal reported. The committee said the lower rate is based on a lower medical loss and allocated adjustment expense development, acceleration in claim settlement, and recent decreases in indemnity claim frequency.
USI Insurance Services LLC acquired Charlotte, N.C.-based insurance broker Cameron M. Harris & Co.
Markel Canada acquired the 50% stake in Allsport Insurance Marketing Ltd. that it did not already own. Allsport, a managing general agent, provides insurance to Canadians for sport, leisure and recreation activities.
A European affiliate of Global Bankers Insurance Group agreed to acquire NN Life Luxembourg S.A., a unit of NN Group NV that operates a life insurance platform for high-net-worth customers. Global Bankers Insurance Group is a family of insurance and reinsurance companies that includes Bankers Life Insurance Co., Colorado Bankers Life Insurance Co. and Southland National Insurance Corp.
Aetna Inc. will pull out of the Iowa individual health insurance market under the Affordable Care Act for 2018 because of "financial risk and an uncertain outlook for the marketplace."
A unit of Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance Co. filed a lawsuit against Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., arguing it is not responsible for indemnifying Goodyear against asbestos-related injury claims.
GOP seeks revival of ACA repeal; NY AG seeks millions from AstraZeneca: New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is alleging that AstraZeneca PLC unit MedImmune LLC engaged in a kickback scheme to increase profits from one of its pediatric medications in a lawsuit that seeks to recover millions of dollars in damages for the state's Medicaid program.
Financial news in other parts of the world
Asia-Pacific: Old Mutual to sell Chinese JV stake; Indian officials deny Axis Bank stake sale
Europe: Tryg Q1 profit up; Deutsche rules out merger; Banco Popular to sell €1.2B asset
Middle East & Africa: South Africa ratings ball in Fitch's court; Hapoalim mulls Isracard sale
The day ahead
Early morning futures indicators pointed to a higher opening for the U.S. market.
In Asia, the Hang Seng fell 0.52% to 24,273.72, and the Nikkei 225 was down 1.40% to 18,597.06.
In Europe, as of midday, the FTSE 100 was down 0.32% to 7,308.14, and the Euronext 100 fell 0.07% to 981.40.
On the macro front
The jobless claims report, the EIA natural gas report, the Treasury STRIPS report, the Fed balance sheet and the money supply report are due out today.