Discover Financial Services

(

DFS

) pushed the Financial Services industry higher today making it today's featured financial services winner. The industry as a whole closed the day down 1.1%. By the end of trading, Discover Financial Services rose 35 cents (1.5%) to $23.21 on average volume. Throughout the day, 6.2 million shares of Discover Financial Services exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 7.6 million shares. The stock ranged in a price between $22.83-$23.41 after having opened the day at $22.86 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $22.86. Other companies within the Financial Services industry that increased today were:

CompuCredit Corporation

(

CCRT

), up 7.2%,

Newtek Business Services Inc

(

NEWT

), up 5.4%,

Asset Acceptance Capital Corporation

(

AACC

), up 4.9%, and

Resource America Inc. CL A

(

REXI

), up 3.1%.

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 $12.66 billion and is part of the

financial

sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 6.1, 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 23.4% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday.

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 good cash flow from operations. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had generally poor debt management on most measures that we evaluated.

On the negative front,

Merriman Holdings Inc

(

MERR

), down 33.3%,

SGOCO Group

(

SGOC

), down 10.9%,

Penson Worldwide Inc

(

PNSN

), down 10.6%, and

Ampal-American Israel Corporation

(

AMPL

), down 9%, were all losers within the financial services industry with

Bank of New York Mellon

(

BK

) being today's financial services industry loser.

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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