Fed Rate Hike is Bad News For Metlife Stock

Shares of MET could be headed towards two-year lows

Deputy Editor
Dec 21, 2018 at 3:24 PM
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Shares of Metlife Inc. (NYSE:MET) are down 0.6% at $39.11, after the company on Thursday reached a settlement with the state of Massachusetts over claims that it failed to pay pensions to thousands of retirees it improperly "presumed dead." The insurance provider will have to pay $1 million fine to resolve the claim filed last June. 

And losses could continue to mount for MET stock going forward, after Fed Chair Jerome Powell and the rest of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) opted to move forward this week with their latest interest rate hike. Per data from Schaeffer's Senior Quantitative Analyst Rocky White, MET tops the list of worst stocks to own the week after Fed rate hikes.

In fact, since the current policy-tightening cycle began in late 2015, the equity has averaged a one-week loss of 2.3% following rate hikes, with 0% positive returns in the post-hike week. If this track record is any indicator, shares of MET could soon dip to $38.34, based on Wednesday's closing price -- which would mark the lowest it's traded since September 2016. 

MET chart since Sept 2016

KBW cut its price target on the stock to $53 from $56 earlier this week, and others may follow suit as MET continues to trend lower. Six of 11 analysts give Metlife a "buy" or better rating, with not a single "sell." Any price-target cuts or downgrades from this group could spark short-term selling pressure on the shares.

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