The fall in the insurance composite was in line with the performance of the S&P 500 – which was down 0.3 percent – and the Dow Jones Industrials, which slid 0.1 percent.
The Nasdaq composite and Russell 2000, however, managed to deliver gains of 0.6 percent and 1.4 percent, respectively, in the week to Friday.
On a year-to-date basis, the indices ended the week up 12.6 percent and 10.5 percent, respectively, compared to a 6.2 percent YTD gain for the S&P 500.
Stonybrook-Wield suggested that “the continued outperformance of small cap and tech stocks continues to telegraph an expectation that interest rate increases will slow and the economy will enjoy a soft landing”.
For the North American insurance composite, the YTD gain stood at 2.4 percent.
For the week to Friday, six of the 10 industry groups finished in positive territory. The two best-performing groups were coastal insurers at 8.1 percent and specialty commercial insurers at 2.3 percent.
“While Florida carriers have continued to fail since Hurricane Ian, investors have become optimistic that regulatory action and rate increases will improve performance and coastal insurers benefited,” the report said.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and the state’s lawmakers announced comprehensive reforms last week that include eliminating one-way attorney fees and fee multipliers for all lines of insurance.
“Specialty commercial insurers also performed well last week on the back of executives reporting opportunities in the E&S market,” Stonybrook-Weild continued.
Palomar Holdings led the chart within the cohort, rising 16.2 percent in the week to Friday, following the announcement of results which included 60 percent growth in gross written premiums in the fourth quarter.
Meanwhile, shares in E&S carrier Kinsale Capital Group surged on Friday following a Q4 beat to end the week 15.2 percent up.
“Investors are supportive of market niches and the flexible rate environment,” the report said.
At the other end of the table, the two worst-performing groups within the composite were brokers and distributors at -2.1 percent and global P&C at -1.5 percent.
“Brokers and distributors and global P&C were held back by some of the higher market cap issues,” the report said.
Indeed, Marsh McLennan and Arthur J Gallagher – the first and third largest intermediaries by market capitalisation – posted the largest losses, both sliding 3.3 percent in the week to Friday.
Meanwhile, the global P&C cohort saw the shares of its two constituents, Chubb and AIG, fall by 1.9 percent and 0.8 percent, respectively.
Shares for AIG ended down in the week after a short-lived rally on Thursday that followed the announcement of better-than-expected underwriting results for the fourth quarter.
In this article we have included a selection of industry comp tables published in full by Stonybrook and Weild & Co in their weekly update. To view the update in full, including other segments aside to those we have featured, click here
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