The real estate industry closed the day up 2.5%. American Realty Investors Inc ( ARL), Impac Mortgage Holdings Inc ( IMH), Ashford Hospitality Trust Inc ( AHT), and Thomas Properties Group Inc ( TPGI) were all winners today within the real estate industry with Annaly Capital Management Inc ( NLY) being today's featured real estate winner. Annaly Capital Management Inc rose 38 cents (2.4%) to $16.06 on light volume. Throughout the day, 16.8 million shares of Annaly Capital Management Inc exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 30.4 million shares.

Operates as a REIT that owns, manages and finances a portfolio of investment securities, including mortgage pass-through certificates, CMOs, agency callable debentures, and other securities representing interests in or obligations backed by pools of mortgage loans. Annaly Capital Management Inc has a market cap of $15.3 billion and is part of the financial sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 5.4, equal to the average real estate industry P/E ratio and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 12.5% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Annaly Capital Management as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, notable return on equity, reasonable valuation levels, compelling growth in net income 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, Pacific Office Properties Trust Inc ( PCE), Supertel Hospitality Inc ( SPPR), Stratus Properties Inc ( STRS), and Gramercy Capital Corporation ( GKK) were all losers within the real estate industry with Acadia Realty ( AKR) 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).