SLM

(

SLM

) pushed the Financial Services industry higher today making it today's featured financial services winner. The industry as a whole closed the day down 1.2%. By the end of trading, SLM rose 24 cents (1.7%) to $14.04 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 6.4 million shares of SLM exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3.9 million shares. The stock ranged in a price between $13.79-$14.13 after having opened the day at $13.89 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $13.80. Other companies within the Financial Services industry that increased today were:

Penson Worldwide

(

PNSN

), up 18.4%,

ProShares UltraShort DJ-UBS Commodity

(

CMD

), up 6.7%,

Consumer Portfolio Services

(

CPSS

), up 5.2%, and

CD International

(

CDII

), up 5.1%.

SLM Corporation, through its subsidiaries, originates, acquires, finances, and services private education loans in the United States. It offers processing capabilities to educational institutions, 529 college-savings plan program management services, and a consumer savings network. SLM has a market cap of $6.62 billion and is part of the

financial

sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 13.3, above the average financial services industry P/E ratio of 12.8 and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 3% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are five analysts that rate SLM a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and none rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates SLM as a

buy

. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, expanding profit margins and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself.

On the negative front,

San Juan Basin Royalty

(

SJT

), down 7.5%,

NewStar Financial

(

NEWS

), down 5.8%,

CompuCredit Corporation

(

CCRT

), down 5.5%, and

Mesa Royalty

(

MTR

), down 5.1%, were all losers within the financial services industry with

Capital One Financial

(

COF

) 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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