Aflac Inc ( AFL) pushed the Financial sector higher today making it today's featured financial winner. The sector as a whole closed the day up 1.3%. By the end of trading, Aflac Inc rose 80 cents (1.8%) to $46.43 on light volume. Throughout the day, 3.1 million shares of Aflac Inc exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 5.4 million shares. The stock ranged in a price between $45.24-$46.54 after having opened the day at $45.99 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $45.63. Other companies within the Financial sector that increased today were: Ameritrans Capital Corporation ( AMTC), up 34.8%, Radian Group Inc ( RDN), up 14.5%, Northeast Bancorp ( NBN), up 14.4%, and Camco Financial ( CAFI), up 13.2%.

Aflac Incorporated, through its subsidiary, American Family Life Assurance Company of Columbus (Aflac), provides supplemental health and life insurance. Aflac Inc has a market cap of $21.2 billion and is part of the insurance industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 11.5, equal to the average insurance industry P/E ratio and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 19.7% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Aflac as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its growth in earnings per share, revenue growth and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. However, as a counter to these strengths, we find that the stock has had a generally disappointing performance in the past year.

On the negative front, Nomura Holdings Inc ( NMR), down 12.3%, Carrollton Bancorp ( CRRB), down 11.9%, Walter Investment Management ( WAC), down 11.3%, and First Security Group Inc ( FSGI), down 11.1%, were all losers within the financial sector with Waddell & Reed Financial Inc ( WDR) being today's financial sector loser.

For investors not wanting singular stock exposure, ETFs may be of interest. Investors who are bullish on the financial sector could consider Financial Select Sector SPDR ( XLF) while those bearish on the financial sector could consider Proshares Short Financials ( SEF).
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