SunTrust Banks

(

STI

) pushed the Financial sector higher today making it today's featured financial winner. The sector as a whole closed the day down 0.5%. By the end of trading, SunTrust Banks rose 22 cents (1%) to $22.53 on average volume. Throughout the day, seven million shares of SunTrust Banks exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 8.3 million shares. The stock ranged in a price between $22.34-$22.92 after having opened the day at $22.45 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $22.31. Other companies within the Financial sector that increased today were:

Community Bankers Trust Corporation

(

BTC

), up 11.7%,

Supertel Hospitality

(

SPPR

), up 9.8%,

Radian Group

(

RDN

), up 9.2%, and

Old Republic International

(

ORI

), up 8.3%.

SunTrust Banks, Inc. operates as the holding company for SunTrust Bank, which provides various financial services in the United States. SunTrust Banks has a market cap of $11.93 billion and is part of the

banking

industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 16.5, below the average banking industry P/E ratio of 16.9 and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 26% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are 12 analysts that rate SunTrust Banks a buy, three analysts rate it a sell, and 11 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates SunTrust Banks as a

buy

. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income 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,

FNB United

(

FNBN

), down 34.5%,

Power REIT

(

PW

), down 20.6%,

Hampton Roads Bankshares

(

HMPR

), down 13.9%, and

Penson Worldwide

(

PNSN

), down 11.4%, were all losers within the financial sector with

Discover Financial Services

(

DFS

) being today's financial sector loser.

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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