Manulife Financial Corporation ( MFC) pushed the Financial sector lower today making it today's featured Financial loser. The sector as a whole closed the day up 0.5%. By the end of trading, Manulife Financial Corporation fell 21 cents (-1.9%) to $11.01 on average volume. Throughout the day, 4.5 million shares of Manulife Financial Corporation exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3.9 million shares. The stock ranged in price between $10.88-$11.28 after having opened the day at $11.25 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $11.22. Other company's within the Financial sector that declined today were: Anchor BanCorp Wisconsin Inc ( ABCW), down 54.6%, Princeton National Bancorp Inc ( PNBC), down 27.9%, Kent Financial Services Inc ( KENT), down 18%, and First Capital Bancorp Inc ( FCVA), down 17.9%.

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 $20.74 billion and is part of the insurance industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 4.5, below the average insurance industry P/E ratio of 10.7 and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 34.9% 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 revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and reasonable valuation levels. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including feeble growth in the company's earnings per share, unimpressive growth in net income and a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself.

On the positive front, Mercantile Bancorp Inc ( MBR), up 61.1%, Waccamaw Bankshares Inc ( WBNK), up 38.8%, Ameritrans Capital Corporation ( AMTC), up 32%, and Affirmative Insurance Holdings Inc ( AFFM), up 23.5%, were all gainers within the financial sector with Chubb ( CB) being today's featured financial sector winner.

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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