Discover Financial Services

(

DFS

) pushed the Financial sector lower today making it today's featured Financial loser. The sector as a whole closed the day down 0.5%. By the end of trading, Discover Financial Services fell 17 cents (-0.5%) to $32.34 on average volume. Throughout the day, 5.5 million shares of Discover Financial Services exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 5.1 million shares. The stock ranged in price between $32.19-$33.16 after having opened the day at $32.79 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $32.51. Other company's within the Financial sector that declined today were:

FNB United

(

FNBN

), down 34.5%,

Power REIT

(

PW

), down 20.6%,

Hampton Roads Bankshares

(

HMPR

), down 13.9%, and

Penson Worldwide

(

PNSN

), down 11.4%.

Discover Financial Services, a bank holding company, offers direct banking and payment services in the United States. It operates in two segments, Direct Banking and Payment Services. Discover Financial Services has a market cap of $16.72 billion and is part of the

financial services

industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 7.2, 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 35.5% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are 15 analysts that rate Discover Financial Services a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and four rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Discover Financial Services as a

buy

. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its compelling growth in net income, revenue growth, notable return on equity, expanding profit margins and solid stock price performance. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had generally poor debt management on most measures that we evaluated.

On the positive front,

Community Bankers Trust Corporation

(

BTC

), up 11.7%,

Supertel Hospitality

(

SPPR

), up 9.8%,

Radian Group

(

RDN

), up 9.2%, and

Old Republic International

(

ORI

), up 8.3%, were all gainers within the financial sector with

SunTrust Banks

(

STI

) 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

(

XLF

) while those bearish on the financial sector could consider

Proshares Short Financials

(

SEF

).

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