Editor's Note: TheStreet ratings do not represent the views of TheStreet's staff or its contributors. Ratings are established by computer based on metrics for performance (which includes growth, stock performance, efficiency and valuation) and risk (volatility and solvency). Companies with poor cash flow or high debt levels tend to earn lower ratings in our model


American Express



) pushed the Real Estate industry lower today making it today's featured Real Estate laggard. The industry as a whole closed the day down 0.2%. By the end of trading, American Express fell 99 cents (-1.7%) to $56.14 on average volume. Throughout the day, 5.2 million shares of American Express exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of five million shares. The stock ranged in price between $56.06-$57.23 after having opened the day at $57.19 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $57.13. Other companies within the Real Estate industry that declined today were:

American Realty Investors



), down 8.6%,

Income Opportunity Realty Investors



), down 8.6%,

Impac Mortgage Holdings



), down 6.2%, and

BRT Realty



), down 6%.

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American Express Company provides charge and credit payment card products and travel-related services to customers worldwide. American Express has a market cap of $65.38 billion and is part of the


sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 13.5, equal to the average financial services industry P/E ratio and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 21.1% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 10 analysts that rate American Express a buy, one analyst rates it a sell, and nine rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates American Express as a


. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its growth in earnings per share, increase in net income, revenue growth, notable return on equity and increase in stock price during the past year. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had generally high debt management risk by most measures that we evaluated.

On the positive front,

IFM Investments


TheStreet Recommends


), up 18.2%,

China Housing & Land Development



), up 4.3%,

Elbit Imaging



), up 4.2%, and

Gramercy Capital Corporation



), up 4%, were all gainers within the real estate industry with

Digital Realty



) being today's featured real estate industry leader.

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

iShares Dow Jones US Real Estate



) while those bearish on the real estate industry could consider

ProShares Short Real Estate Fund




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