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Blackstone Group



) pushed the Financial sector lower today making it today's featured Financial loser. The sector as a whole closed the day up 0.6%. By the end of trading, Blackstone Group fell 30 cents (-2.4%) to $12.04 on average volume. Throughout the day, 4.5 million shares of Blackstone Group exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 4.4 million shares. The stock ranged in price between $12.01-$12.35 after having opened the day at $12.34 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $12.34. Other company's within the Financial sector that declined today were:

Hampton Roads Bankshares



), down 18.1%,

National Bank of Greece



), down 16.7%,

Rodman & Renshaw Capital Group



), down 13.8%, and

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TheStreet Recommends

Monarch Community Bancorp



), down 12.2%.

The Blackstone Group L.P., together with its subsidiaries, provides alternative asset management and financial advisory services worldwide. It operates in five segments: Private Equity, Real Estate, Hedge Fund Solutions, Credit Businesses, and Financial Advisory. Blackstone Group has a market cap of $6.43 billion and is part of the

financial services

industry. Shares are down 10.3% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 10 analysts that rate Blackstone Group a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and three rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Blackstone Group as a


. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income and notable return on equity. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including generally poor debt management, a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself and weak operating cash flow.

On the positive front,

Severn Bancorp



), up 46.6%,

New England



), up 29.9%,

Penson Worldwide



), up 20%, and

Crescent Financial



), up 19.4%, were all gainers within the financial sector with




) being today's featured financial sector winner.

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