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U.S. Bancorp



) pushed the Financial sector higher today making it today's featured financial winner. The sector as a whole closed the day up 0.8%. By the end of trading, U.S. Bancorp rose 49 cents (1.6%) to $31.72 on average volume. Throughout the day, 8.6 million shares of U.S. Bancorp exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 10.9 million shares. The stock ranged in a price between $31.43-$31.83 after having opened the day at $31.52 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $31.23. Other companies within the Financial sector that increased today were:

Cascade Bancorp



), up 25.3%,

Rurban Financial



), up 19.7%,

North Valley Bancorp



), up 15.3%, and

TheStreet Recommends

Charter Financial



), up 14.8%.

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U.S. Bancorp, a financial services holding company, provides various banking and financial services in the United States. The company offers depository services, such as checking accounts, savings accounts, and time certificate contracts. U.S. Bancorp has a market cap of $60.08 billion and is part of the


industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 12.2, equal to the average banking industry P/E ratio and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 17.3% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 13 analysts that rate U.S. Bancorp a buy, one analyst rates it a sell, and 12 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates U.S. Bancorp as a


. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, solid stock price performance, impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income and expanding profit margins. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow.

On the negative front,

Ampal-American Israel Corporation



), down 28.2%,

Rodman & Renshaw Capital Group



), down 19.3%,

Direct Markets Holdings



), down 19.3%, and

First Financial Service Corporation



), down 16.3%, were all losers within the financial sector with




) 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



) while those bearish on the financial sector could consider

Proshares Short Financials