American Express

(

AXP

) pushed the Real Estate industry lower today making it today's featured Real Estate loser. The industry as a whole closed the day down 2.6%. By the end of trading, American Express fell 89 cents (-1.9%) to $45.11 on light volume. Throughout the day, 6.5 million shares of American Express exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 8.7 million shares. The stock ranged in price between $44.95-$45.69 after having opened the day at $45.55 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $46. Other company's within the Real Estate industry that declined today were:

Grubb & Ellis Company

(

GBE

), down 9.7%,

FelCor Lodging Trust Inc

(

FCH

), down 9.3%,

iStar Financial Inc

(

SFI

), down 8%, and

Strategic Hotel & Resorts Inc

(

BEE

), down 7.2%.

American Express Company, together with its subsidiaries, provides charge and credit payment card products, and travel-related services worldwide. American Express has a market cap of $53.5 billion and is part of the

financial

sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 11.6, 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 7.2% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates American Express as a

buy

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

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

(

IYR

) while those bearish on the real estate industry could consider

ProShares Short Real Estate Fund

(

REK

).

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