The real estate industry closed the day up 0.7%. Apartment Investment & Management ( AIV), Transcontinental Realty ( TCI), Walker & Dunlop Inc ( WD), and Pacific Office Properties Trust Inc ( PCE) were all decliners today within the real estate industry with Equity Residential ( EQR) being today's featured real estate loser. Equity Residential fell 78 cents (-1.3%) to $58.75 on average volume. Throughout the day, 2.8 million shares of Equity Residential exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3.1 million shares.

Equity Residential, a real estate investment trust (REIT), engages in the acquisition, development, and management of multifamily properties in the United States. Equity Residential has a market cap of $16.7 billion and is part of the financial sector. Shares are up 15.4% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Equity as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its compelling growth in net income, revenue growth and solid stock price performance. However, as a counter to these strengths, we find that we feel that the company's cash flow from its operations has been weak overall.

On the positive front, China Real Estate Information Corporation ( CRIC), CBRE Group Inc ( CBG), ZipRealty Inc ( ZIPR), and Rait Financial ( RAS) were all gainers within the real estate industry with Simon Property Group Inc ( SPG) being today's featured real estate industry winner.

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).