Capital One Financial

(

COF

) pushed the Financial Services industry higher today making it today's featured financial services winner. The industry as a whole closed the day up 0.6%. By the end of trading, Capital One Financial rose $1.49 (2.7%) to $56.36 on average volume. Throughout the day, 3.5 million shares of Capital One Financial exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 4.3 million shares. The stock ranged in a price between $55.47-$56.50 after having opened the day at $55.81 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $54.87. Other companies within the Financial Services industry that increased today were:

Nomura Holdings

(

NMR

), up 9.3%,

Direct Markets Holdings

(

MKTS

), up 7.3%,

Ameriprise Financial

(

AMP

), up 5.8%, and

Lazard

(

LAZ

), up 5.1%.

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Capital One Financial Corporation operates as the bank holding company for the Capital One Bank (USA), National Association (COBNA), and Capital One, National Association (CONA), which provide various financial products and services in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada. Capital One Financial has a market cap of $31.92 billion and is part of the

financial

sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 9.4, below the average financial services industry P/E ratio of 10 and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 29.7% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 16 analysts that rate Capital One Financial a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and three rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Capital One Financial as a

buy

. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, reasonable valuation levels and solid stock price performance. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.

On the negative front,

Cash America International

(

CSH

), down 18.7%,

BGC Partners

(

BGCP

), down 8.6%,

Penson Worldwide

(

PNSN

), down 6.6%, and

Ampal-American Israel Corporation

(

AMPL

), down 5.3%, were all laggards within the financial services industry with

Equifax

(

EFX

) being today's financial services industry laggard.

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

Financial Select Sector SPDR

(

XLF

) while those bearish on the financial services industry could consider

Proshares Short Financials

(

SEF

).

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