The real estate industry closed the day up 2%. Cedar Shopping Centers Inc ( CDR), MPG Office Trust Inc ( MPG), Grubb & Ellis Company ( GBE), and Newcastle Investment Corporation ( NCT) were all winners today within the real estate industry with Simon Property Group Inc ( SPG) being today's featured real estate winner. Simon Property Group Inc rose $2.54 (2.4%) to $109.04 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 3.7 million shares of Simon Property Group Inc exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2.4 million shares.

Simon Property Group, Inc. is a real estate investment trust. The firm engages in investment, ownership, and management of properties. It invests in the real estate markets across the globe. Simon Property Group Inc has a market cap of $32.3 billion and is part of the financial sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 38.6, 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 7% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday.

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, revenue growth, notable return on equity and expanding profit margins. 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, Vestin Realty Mortgage I Inc ( VRTA), IFM Investments ( CTC), American Realty Investors Inc ( ARL), and China Housing & Land Development Inc ( CHLN) were all losers within the real estate industry with Institutional Financial Markets Inc ( IFMI) being today's real estate industry Loser Spotlight stock.

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).