Discover Financial Services (DFS): Today's Featured Financial Services Winner

Discover Financial Services ( DFS) pushed the Financial Services industry higher today making it today's featured financial services winner. The industry as a whole closed the day up 0.7%. By the end of trading, Discover Financial Services rose 54 cents (1.5%) to $35.69 on light volume. Throughout the day, 3.3 million shares of Discover Financial Services exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 4.8 million shares. The stock ranged in a price between $35.04-$35.89 after having opened the day at $35.41 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $35.15. Other companies within the Financial Services industry that increased today were: Ampal-American Israel Corporation ( AMPL), up 15.7%, Siebert Financial Corporation ( SIEB), up 7.1%, FBR ( FBRC), up 6.8%, and FirstCity Financial Corporation ( FCFC), up 6%.

Discover Financial Services, a bank holding company, offers direct banking and payment services in the United States. It operates in two segments, Direct Banking and Payment Services. Discover Financial Services has a market cap of $18 billion and is part of the financial sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 8.1, equal to the average financial services industry P/E ratio and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 45.7% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are 15 analysts that rate Discover Financial Services a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and three rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Discover Financial Services as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, revenue growth, notable return on equity and expanding profit margins. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.

On the negative front, Millennium India Acquisition Corporation ( SMCG), down 7.1%, Manhattan Bridge Capital ( LOAN), down 4.8%, Gleacher ( GLCH), down 4%, and Federal Agricultural Mortgage ( AGM.A), down 3.7%, were all losers within the financial services industry with SLM ( SLM) being today's financial services industry loser.

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