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 higher today making it today's featured real estate winner. The industry as a whole closed the day up 0.4%. By the end of trading, American Express rose $1.07 (1.9%) to $57.49 on average volume. Throughout the day, 4.1 million shares of American Express exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 5.4 million shares. The stock ranged in a price between $56.30-$57.60 after having opened the day at $56.49 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $56.42. Other companies within the Real Estate industry that increased today were:

Impac Mortgage Holdings



), up 5.1%,

American Spectrum Realty



), up 4.1%,

Forestar Group



), up 4%, and

Stratus Properties



), up 3.3%.

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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 $64.02 billion and is part of the


sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 13.3, 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 19.6% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. 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, revenue growth, notable return on equity, increase in net income and solid stock price performance. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had generally high debt management risk by 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



) while those bearish on the real estate industry could consider

ProShares Short Real Estate Fund