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6 Sick Insurance Stocks to Sell Now

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- The financial sector has lagged the market considerably since the market perked up this fall. Since Sept. 1, the broader stock market is up about 12% even after recent declines, while the financial sector has tacked on about half that. The laggards do not just include massive banks like Citigroup (C) and Bank of America (BAC) -- but also financial services companies including insurance companies and insurers.

Perhaps you've already trimmed some financial positions from your portfolio due to the recent weakness in the major banks -- but don't overlook some of the major insurance stocks that continue to suck wind like their retail banking brethren.

Here are six of my top offenders in the insurance industry, which you should cut from your portfolio ASAP if you own them:

Manulife Financial (MFC - Get Report)

Manulife Financial is a financial services company that works with customers in 22 countries. Since January, MFC stock has dropped 19.7%, compared with respective gains of 7.5% and 7.3% for the S&P 500 and Dow Jones. Additionally, MFC has missed earnings estimates for the past two quarters and most recently reported a net profit margin of 19.9% in its last income statement. Currently trading at $14.73, MFC is trading well below its 52-week high of $20.79.

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ALL $64.95 -0.85%
AV $12.74 -0.93%
HIG $43.76 -2.73%
MFC $14.64 -1.10%
LFC $11.65 -3.10%


Chart of I:DJI
DOW 17,830.76 -210.79 -1.17%
S&P 500 2,075.81 -19.34 -0.92%
NASDAQ 4,805.2910 -57.85 -1.19%

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