All three major indices are trading up today with the

Dow Jones Industrial Average

(

^DJI

) trading up 68 points (0.4%) at 17,604 as of Tuesday, March 29, 2016, 12:55 PM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 2,037 issues advancing vs. 895 declining with 166 unchanged.

The Financial sector currently sits up 0.2% versus the S&P 500, which is up 0.4%. Top gainers within the sector include

Oaktree Capital Group

(

OAK

), up 2.8%,

SL Green Realty

(

SLG

), up 2.4%,

Blackstone Group

(

BX

), up 2.3%,

KB Financial Group

(

KB

), up 1.8% and

Grupo Financiero Santander Mexico SAB de CV

(

BSMX

), up 1.6%. On the negative front, top decliners within the sector include

Regions Financial

(

RF

), down 3.2%,

Fifth Third Bancorp

(

FITB

), down 2.4%,

Credit Suisse Group

(

CS

), down 2.3%,

SunTrust Banks

(

STI

), down 2.1% and

Deutsche Bank

(

DB

), down 1.5%.

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

3.

AvalonBay Communities

(

AVB

) is one of the companies pushing the Financial sector higher today. As of noon trading, AvalonBay Communities is up $2.12 (1.1%) to $187.70 on light volume. Thus far, 297,926 shares of AvalonBay Communities exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 805,300 shares. The stock has ranged in price between $185.60-$188.33 after having opened the day at $185.60 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $185.58.

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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 $25.4 billion and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are up 1.5% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are 9 analysts who rate AvalonBay Communities a buy, 1 analyst rates 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, expanding profit margins, good cash flow from operations, increase in net income and solid stock price performance. 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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2. As of noon trading,

Host Hotels & Resorts

(

HST

) is up $0.26 (1.6%) to $16.40 on light volume. Thus far, 3.4 million shares of Host Hotels & Resorts exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 10.4 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $15.95-$16.41 after having opened the day at $16.20 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $16.14.

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Host Hotels & Resorts, Inc. is a publicly owned real estate investment trust (REIT). The firm primarily engages in the ownership and operation of hotel properties. It invests in the real estate markets of United States. Host Hotels & Resorts has a market cap of $12.2 billion and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are up 6.5% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are 4 analysts who rate Host Hotels & Resorts a buy, 2 analysts rate it a sell, and 9 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates

Host Hotels & Resorts

as a

hold

. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth and reasonable valuation levels. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including deteriorating net income, disappointing return on equity and weak operating cash flow. Get the full

Host Hotels & Resorts Ratings Report

now.

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1. As of noon trading,

American Tower

(

AMT

) is up $1.16 (1.2%) to $101.40 on light volume. Thus far, 518,979 shares of American Tower exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2.5 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $99.80-$101.49 after having opened the day at $100.30 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $100.24.

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American Tower Corporation is a real estate investment trust. It invests in the real estate markets across the globe. American Tower has a market cap of $42.5 billion and is part of the telecommunications industry. Shares are up 3.4% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are 15 analysts who rate American Tower a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and none rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates

American Tower

as a

buy

. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, increase in net income, good cash flow from operations, growth in earnings per share and expanding profit margins. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat disappointing return on equity. Get the full

American Tower 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

).