The insurance industry closed the day down 0.7%. Old Republic International Corporation ( ORI), Affirmative Insurance Holdings Inc ( AFFM), ING Groep N.V ( ING), and HCC Insurance Holdings Inc ( HCC) were all decliners today within the insurance industry with Manulife Financial Corporation ( MFC) being today's featured insurance loser. Manulife Financial Corporation fell 28 cents (-2%) to $13.74 on average volume. Throughout the day, 3.5 million shares of Manulife Financial Corporation exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 4.3 million shares.

Manulife Financial Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, provides financial protection and wealth management products and services to individuals and group customers primarily in Canada, the United States, and Asia. Manulife Financial Corporation has a market cap of $22.9 billion and is part of the financial sector. The company has a P/E ratio of six, below the average insurance industry P/E ratio of 10.3 and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 18.4% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Manulife Financial as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its compelling growth in net income, reasonable valuation levels and notable return on equity. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including weak operating cash flow, a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself and poor profit margins.

On the positive front, Phoenix Companies Inc ( PNX), Radian Group Inc ( RDN), Citizens Inc ( CIA), and Life Partners Holdings Inc ( LPHI) were all gainers within the insurance industry with MetLife Inc ( MET) being today's featured insurance industry winner.

For investors not wanting singular stock exposure, ETFs may be of interest. Investors who are bullish on the insurance industry could consider KBW Insurance ETF ( KIE) while those bearish on the insurance industry could consider Proshares Short Financials ( SEF).
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