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Blackstone Group LP (BX): Today's Featured Financial Winner

Blackstone Group ( BX) pushed the Financial sector higher today making it today's featured financial winner. The sector as a whole was unchanged today. By the end of trading, Blackstone Group rose $0.24 (1.1%) to $21.06 on light volume. Throughout the day, 3,674,722 shares of Blackstone Group exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 5,098,400 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $20.53-$21.10 after having opened the day at $20.80 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $20.82. Other companies within the Financial sector that increased today were: Investors Capital Holdings ( ICH), up 11.9%, Altis Resident ( RESI), up 11.3%, Cordia Bancorp ( BVA), up 10.6% and National Bank of Greece ( NBG), up 9.9%.

The Blackstone Group L.P., together with its subsidiaries, provides alternative asset management and financial advisory services worldwide. It operates in five segments: Private Equity, Real Estate, Hedge Fund Solutions, Credit Businesses, and Financial Advisory. Blackstone Group has a market cap of $11.4 billion and is part of the financial services industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 34.7, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 33.5% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 9 analysts that rate Blackstone Group a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 2 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Blackstone Group as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income, good cash flow from operations and expanding profit margins. Although no company is perfect, currently we do not see any significant weaknesses which are likely to detract from the generally positive outlook.

On the negative front, Credit Suisse ( DSLV), down 17.6%, Credit Suisse ( DOIL), down 12.1%, Anchor Bancorp ( ANCB), down 10.0% and Patriot National Bancorp ( PNBK), down 9.7% , were all laggards within the financial sector with Bank of New York Mellon ( BK) being today's financial sector laggard.

For investors not wanting singular stock exposure, ETFs may be of interest. Investors who are bullish on the financial sector could consider Financial Select Sector SPDR ( XLF) while those bearish on the financial sector could consider Proshares Short Financials ( SEF).

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