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


CME Group



) pushed the Financial sector lower today making it today's featured Financial laggard. The sector as a whole closed the day down 1.1%. By the end of trading, CME Group fell $1.16 (-2%) to $56.50 on average volume. Throughout the day, 2.1 million shares of CME Group exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of two million shares. The stock ranged in price between $55.92-$57.63 after having opened the day at $57.60 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $57.66. Other companies within the Financial sector that declined today were:

Meadowbrook Insurance Group



), down 20.7%,

Howard Bancorp Incorporated Maryland



), down 11.8%,

Bluegreen Corporation



), down 11.7%, and




), down 11.1%.

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CME Group Inc. operates the CME, CBOT, NYMEX and COMEX futures exchanges worldwide. The company provides a range of products across various asset classes, such as interest rates, equity indexes, foreign exchange, energy, agricultural commodities, metals, weather, and real estate. CME Group has a market cap of $19.25 billion and is part of the financial services industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 12.2, 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 18.3% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are eight analysts that rate CME Group a buy, two analysts rate it a sell, and five rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates CME Group as a


. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its good cash flow from operations, expanding profit margins, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, increase in stock price during the past year and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.

On the positive front,

Vestin Realty Mortgage I



), up 10.2%,

Millennium India Acquisition Corporation



), up 8.3%,

First Financial Service Corporation



), up 7.9%, and

VelocityShares 3x Inverse Crude ETN



), up 7%, were all gainers within the financial sector with

Apartment Investment & Management



) being today's featured financial sector leader.

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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