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) pushed the Insurance industry higher today making it today's featured insurance winner. The industry as a whole closed the day up 2.3%. By the end of trading, MetLife rose $1.36 (4.6%) to $30.86 on average volume. Throughout the day, 7.8 million shares of MetLife exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 9.5 million shares. The stock ranged in a price between $30.20-$30.87 after having opened the day at $30.32 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $29.49. Other companies within the Insurance industry that increased today were:

ING Groep N.V



), up 10.2%,




), up 10.2%,

Assured Guaranty



), up 6.8%, and

TheStreet Recommends

MGIC Investment Corporation



), up 6.7%.

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MetLife, Inc., through its subsidiaries, provides insurance, annuities, and employee benefit programs in the United States, Japan, Latin America, the Asia Pacific, Europe, and the Middle East. MetLife has a market cap of $31.6 billion and is part of the


sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 5.5, equal to the average insurance industry P/E ratio and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 4.6% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 16 analysts that rate MetLife a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and three rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates MetLife as a


. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, reasonable valuation levels and good cash flow from operations. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including unimpressive growth in net income, poor profit margins and a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself.

Everest Re Group



) was today's featured insurance industry loser.

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

KBW Insurance ETF



) while those bearish on the insurance industry could consider

Proshares Short Financials