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


General Growth Properties



) pushed the Financial sector higher today making it today's featured financial winner. The sector as a whole closed the day up 0.2%. By the end of trading, General Growth Properties rose 26 cents (1.4%) to $19.37 on average volume. Throughout the day, 5.4 million shares of General Growth Properties exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of four million shares. The stock ranged in a price between $19.08-$19.63 after having opened the day at $19.08 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $19.11. Other companies within the Financial sector that increased today were:

Oak Ridge Financial Services



), up 26.3%,

Ampal-American Israel Corporation



), up 20.2%,

Crawford & Company



), up 9.8%, and

Greene County Bancorp



), up 9.3%.

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General Growth Properties, Inc. operates as a real estate investment trust in the United States. It operates in two segments, Retail and Other, and Master Planned Communities. General Growth Properties has a market cap of $17.63 billion and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are up 31.5% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are two analysts that rate General Growth Properties a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and six rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates General Growth Properties as a


. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, revenue growth and good cash flow from operations. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including unimpressive growth in net income, disappointing return on equity and poor profit margins.

On the negative front,

First Financial Service Corporation



), down 25.3%,

Old Second Bancorp



), down 15.1%,

Amrep Corporation



), down 10.8%, and

Broadway Financial



), down 7.9%, were all laggards within the financial sector with

Bank of New York Mellon



) being today's financial sector laggard.

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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