Simon Property Group

(

SPG

) pushed the Real Estate industry higher today making it today's featured real estate winner. The industry as a whole closed the day up 0.6%. By the end of trading, Simon Property Group rose $1.34 (0.9%) to $147.52 on average volume. Throughout the day, 1.9 million shares of Simon Property Group exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1.5 million shares. The stock ranged in a price between $144.63-$148.91 after having opened the day at $146.32 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $146.18. Other companies within the Real Estate industry that increased today were:

Institutional Financial Markets

(

IFMI

), up 17.2%,

Capital

(

CT

), up 5.1%,

ZipRealty

(

ZIPR

), up 4.9%, and

MHI Hospitality Corporation

(

MDH

), up 4.5%.

Simon Property Group, Inc. is an independent equity real estate investment trust. It engages in investment, ownership, and management of properties. The firm invests in the real estate markets across the globe. Simon Property Group has a market cap of $45.53 billion and is part of the

financial

sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 29.7, equal to the average real estate industry P/E ratio and above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 13.4% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 12 analysts that rate Simon Property Group a buy, one analyst rates it a sell, and six rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Simon Property Group as a

buy

. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income, revenue growth and notable return on equity. 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,

American Realty Investors

(

ARL

), down 7.5%,

Supertel Hospitality

(

SPPR

), down 6.8%,

Vestin Realty Mortgage I

(

VRTA

), down 3.5%, and

Brookfield Residential Properties

(

BRP

), down 3.4%, were all losers within the real estate industry with

CommonWealth REIT

(

CWH

) being today's real estate industry loser.

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

iShares Dow Jones US Real Estate

(

IYR

) while those bearish on the real estate industry could consider

ProShares Short Real Estate Fund

(

REK

).

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