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

AvalonBay Communities



) pushed the Financial sector higher today making it today's featured financial winner. The sector as a whole closed the day down 1.2%. By the end of trading, AvalonBay Communities rose $1.85 (1.4%) to $133.54 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 1,348,390 shares of AvalonBay Communities exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 878,800 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $128.67-$136.88 after having opened the day at $130.43 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $131.69. Other companies within the Financial sector that increased today were:

Jacksonville Bancorp



), up 13.4%,

LCNB Corporation



), up 10.8%,

Credit Suisse



), up 10.8% and

Siebert Financial Corporation



), up 10.1%.

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AvalonBay Communities, Inc. engages in the development, redevelopment, acquisition, ownership, and operation of multifamily communities in the United States. AvalonBay Communities has a market cap of $16.6 billion and is part of the real estate industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 62.7, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 2.9% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are 7 analysts that rate AvalonBay Communities a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 10 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates

AvalonBay Communities

as a


. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth and increase in net income. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat disappointing return on equity.

On the negative front,

Noah Holdings



), down 20.3%,

Royal Bancshares of Pennsylvania



), down 17.2%,

IFM Investments



), down 16.1% and

Patriot National Bancorp



), down 13.9% , were all laggards within the financial sector with

Discover Financial Services



) being today's financial sector laggard.

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

Financial Select Sector SPDR



) while those bearish on the financial sector could consider

Proshares Short Financials




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