Morgan Stanley

(

MS

) pushed the Financial sector lower today making it today's featured Financial loser. The sector as a whole closed the day down 1.5%. By the end of trading, Morgan Stanley fell 82 cents (-5.5%) to $14.16 on average volume. Throughout the day, 30.9 million shares of Morgan Stanley exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 38.4 million shares. The stock ranged in price between $14.03-$15.03 after having opened the day at $14.96 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $14.98. Other company's within the Financial sector that declined today were:

Ampal-American Israel Corporation

(

AMPL

), down 23.4%,

Northern States Financial

(

NSFC

), down 19.6%,

Primus Guaranty

(

PRS

), down 19.4%, and

Grubb & Ellis Company

(

GBE

), down 15.2%.

Morgan Stanley, a financial holding company, provides various financial products and services to corporations, governments, financial institutions, and individuals worldwide. It operates in three segments: Institutional Securities, Global Wealth Management Group, and Asset Management. Morgan Stanley has a market cap of $28.93 billion and is part of the

financial services

industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 7.9, below the average financial services industry P/E ratio of 8.6 and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 44.9% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are 12 analysts that rate Morgan Stanley a buy, two analysts rate it a sell, and seven rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Morgan Stanley as a

sell

. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its generally weak debt management, disappointing return on equity and generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself.

On the positive front,

First Financial Service Corporation

(

FFKY

), up 45%,

Bank of the Carolinas

(

BCAR

), up 41.2%,

Atlantic Coast Financial

(

ACFC

), up 22.5%, and

Berkshire Bancorp

(

BERK

), up 14.2%, were all gainers within the financial sector with

Washington Federal

(

WFSL

) 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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