General Growth Properties Inc (GGP): Today's Featured Financial Winner

General Growth Properties ( GGP) pushed the Financial sector higher today making it today's featured financial winner. The sector as a whole closed the day up 0.9%. By the end of trading, General Growth Properties rose 28 cents (1.6%) to $18.37 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 6.8 million shares of General Growth Properties exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3.5 million shares. The stock ranged in a price between $18.07-$18.41 after having opened the day at $18.15 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $18.09. Other companies within the Financial sector that increased today were: Kingstone Companies ( KINS), up 17.5%, Plumas Bancorp ( PLBC), up 17.3%, PSB Holdings ( PSBH), up 16%, and Direct Markets Holdings ( MKTS), up 14.4%.

General Growth Properties, Inc. operates as a real estate investment trust in the United States. It operates in two segments, Retail and Other, and Master Planned Communities. General Growth Properties has a market cap of $16.49 billion and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are up 17.1% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are three analysts that rate General Growth Properties a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and five rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates General Growth Properties as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, revenue growth and good cash flow from operations. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including unimpressive growth in net income, generally poor debt management and poor profit margins.

On the negative front, Jefferson ( JFBI), down 16.7%, Mesa Royalty ( MTR), down 11.8%, CFS Bancorp ( CITZ), down 11.2%, and Shore ( SHBI), down 10.5%, were all losers within the financial sector with Hartford Financial Services Group ( HIG) 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).