The financial sector closed the day up 1.7%. First Place Financial Corporation ( FPFC), Merriman Holdings Inc ( MERR), American Realty Investors Inc ( ARL), and Stewardship Financial Corporation ( SSFN) were all decliners today within the financial sector with MFA Financial Inc ( MFA) being today's featured financial loser. MFA Financial Inc fell 4 cents (-0.6%) to $6.37 on average volume. Throughout the day, 5.3 million shares of MFA Financial Inc exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of six million shares. MFA Financial, Inc., a real estate investment trust (REIT), primarily invests in mortgage-backed securities (MBS) that include hybrid and adjustable-rate MBS. MFA Financial Inc has a market cap of $2.3 billion and is part of the real estate industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 6.7, 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 21.4% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. TheStreet Ratings rates MFA Financial as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, attractive valuation levels and expanding profit margins. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including generally poor debt management, disappointing return on equity and a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself.