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American Express

(

AXP

) pushed the Real Estate industry higher today making it today's featured real estate winner. The industry as a whole was unchanged today. By the end of trading, American Express rose 42 cents (0.8%) to $56.05 on average volume. Throughout the day, 5.1 million shares of American Express exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 5.7 million shares. The stock ranged in a price between $55.30-$56.28 after having opened the day at $55.82 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $55.63. Other companies within the Real Estate industry that increased today were:

NTS Realty Holdings

(

NLP

), up 8.2%,

American Realty Investors

(

ARL

), up 8.2%,

MPG Office

(

MPG

), up 8%, and

TheStreet Recommends

HMG/Courtland Properties

(

HMG

), up 2.9%.

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American Express Company provides charge and credit payment card products, and travel-related services to worldwide. American Express has a market cap of $64.14 billion and is part of the

financial

sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 13.1, 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 18.1% 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 eight rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates American Express as a

buy

. 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 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.

On the negative front,

Homex Development

(

HXM

), down 9.2%,

Alto Palermo

(

APSA

), down 5.8%,

Supertel Hospitality

(

SPPR

), down 5.6%, and

Roberts Realty Investors

(

RPI

), down 4.9%, were all laggards within the real estate industry with

CIT Group

(

CIT

) being today's real estate industry laggard.

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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