Two out of the three major indices are trading lower today with the

Dow Jones Industrial Average

(

^DJI

) trading down 23 points (-0.1%) at 15,979 as of Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2015, 12:55 PM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,349 issues advancing vs. 1,636 declining with 166 unchanged.

The Financial sector currently sits down 0.1% versus the S&P 500, which is up 0.1%. Top gainers within the sector include

HDFC Bank

(

HDB

), up 2.5%,

Equity Residential

(

EQR

), up 2.0%,

UDR

(

UDR

), up 1.8%,

Ameriprise Financial

(

AMP

), up 1.3% and

Prologis

(

PLD

), up 1.2%. On the negative front, top decliners within the sector include

MarketAxess Holdings

(

MKTX

), down 3.9%,

Blackstone Group

(

BX

), down 3.5%,

KKR

(

KKR

), down 3.1%,

Icahn

(

IEP

), down 2.2% and

Orix

(

IX

), down 1.8%.

TheStreet would like to highlight 3 stocks pushing the sector higher today:

3.

General Growth Properties

(

GGP

) is one of the companies pushing the Financial sector higher today. As of noon trading, General Growth Properties is up $0.46 (1.8%) to $25.43 on average volume. Thus far, 2.8 million shares of General Growth Properties exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 4.1 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $24.97-$25.52 after having opened the day at $25.00 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $24.97.

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General Growth Properties, Inc is an equity real estate investment trust. The firm invests in the real estate markets of the United States. It engages in owning, managing, leasing, and redeveloping high-quality regional malls. General Growth Properties, Inc is based in Chicago, Illinois. General Growth Properties has a market cap of $22.5 billion and is part of the real estate industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 15.1, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 24.4. Shares are down 11.2% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are 9 analysts who rate General Growth Properties a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 1 rates it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates

General Growth Properties

as a

buy

. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income, notable return on equity and expanding profit margins. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow. Get the full

General Growth Properties Ratings Report

now.

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2. As of noon trading,

AvalonBay Communities

(

AVB

) is up $3.99 (2.4%) to $171.23 on average volume. Thus far, 473,925 shares of AvalonBay Communities exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 681,500 shares. The stock has ranged in price between $167.08-$171.72 after having opened the day at $167.66 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $167.24.

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AvalonBay Communities, Inc. engages in the development, redevelopment, acquisition, ownership, and operation of multifamily communities in the United States. AvalonBay Communities has a market cap of $22.7 billion and is part of the real estate industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 29.6, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 24.4. Shares are up 2.4% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are 8 analysts who rate AvalonBay Communities a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 6 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates

AvalonBay Communities

as a

buy

. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, solid stock price performance, growth in earnings per share, expanding profit margins and good cash flow from operations. Although no company is perfect, currently we do not see any significant weaknesses which are likely to detract from the generally positive outlook. Get the full

AvalonBay Communities Ratings Report

now.

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1. As of noon trading,

Hartford Financial Services Group

(

HIG

) is up $0.32 (0.7%) to $44.78 on light volume. Thus far, 1.4 million shares of Hartford Financial Services Group exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 4.0 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $44.21-$44.89 after having opened the day at $44.68 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $44.47.

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The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc., through its subsidiaries, provides insurance and financial services to individual and business customers primarily in the United States. Hartford Financial Services Group has a market cap of $18.8 billion and is part of the insurance industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 12.4, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 24.4. Shares are up 6.7% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are 9 analysts who rate Hartford Financial Services Group a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 4 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates

Hartford Financial Services Group

as a

buy

. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, solid stock price performance, impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income and good cash flow from operations. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins. Get the full

Hartford Financial Services Group Ratings Report

now.

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If you are interested in one of these 3 stocks, 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

).