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Editor's Note: Any reference to TheStreet Ratings and its underlying recommendation does not reflect the opinion of TheStreet, Inc. or any of its contributors including Jim Cramer or Stephanie Link.

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 0.5%. By the end of trading, SLM rose $0.25 (1.1%) to $23.13 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 8,764,282 shares of SLM exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3,677,600 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $22.93-$23.41 after having opened the day at $22.96 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $22.88. Other companies within the Financial Services industry that increased today were:

iPath Dow Jones-UBS Natural Gas Total Retur

(

GAZ

), up 13.4%,

Credit Suisse

(

TVIX

), up 12.6%,

United States Natural Gas Fund

(

UNG

TheStreet Recommends

), up 10.6% and

C-Tracks Citi Volatility Index TR ETN

(

CVOL

), up 9.3%.

SLM Corporation, also known as Sallie Mae, originates, acquires, finances, and services private education loans in the United States. The company operates through three segments: Consumer Lending, Business Services, and FFELP Loans. SLM has a market cap of $10.0 billion and is part of the financial sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 8.0, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 12.9% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 4 analysts that rate SLM a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 2 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates

SLM

as a

buy

. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, notable return on equity, attractive valuation levels and expanding profit margins. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.

On the negative front,

Direxion Daily Gold Miners Bear 3X Shares

(

DUST

), down 8.7%,

PowerShares DB Base Metals Double Short ETN

(

BOM

), down 7.6%,

Direxion Daily Russia Bull 3X Shares

(

RUSL

), down 7.5% and

Credit Suisse

(

XIV

), down 6.7% , were all laggards within the financial services industry with

Goldman Sachs Group

(

GS

) being today's financial services industry laggard.

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

).

3x UPSIDE POTENTIAL: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12-months. Learn more.