3M

(

MMM

) pushed the Conglomerates sector higher today making it today's featured conglomerates winner. The sector as a whole closed the day up 3.6%. By the end of trading, 3M rose $1.59 (2.1%) to $77.72 on average volume. Throughout the day, 4.8 million shares of 3M exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 5.1 million shares. The stock ranged in a price between $77.05-$78.01 after having opened the day at $77.20 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $76.13. Other companies within the Conglomerates sector that increased today were:

Tredegar Corporation

(

TG

), up 8.4%,

Leucadia National Corporation

(

LUK

), up 6%,

Lydall Inc

(

LDL

), up 5.2%, and

Harbinger Group Inc

(

HRG

), up 5%.

3M Company, together with subsidiaries, operates as a diversified technology company worldwide. 3M has a market cap of $52.94 billion and is part of the

conglomerates

industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 12.8, equal to the average conglomerates industry P/E ratio and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 11.8% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday.

TheStreet Ratings rates 3M as a

buy

. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, good cash flow from operations, expanding profit margins and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself.

For investors not wanting singular stock exposure, ETFs may be of interest. Investors who are bullish on the conglomerates sector could consider

SPDR Trust Series one

(

SPY

) while those bearish on the conglomerates sector could consider

ProShares Short S&P 500

(

SH

).

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