Travelers Companies Inc. (TRV): Today's Featured Financial Winner

Travelers Companies ( TRV) pushed the Financial sector higher today making it today's featured financial winner. The sector as a whole closed the day down 0.2%. By the end of trading, Travelers Companies rose 49 cents (0.8%) to $63.21 on average volume. Throughout the day, 2.6 million shares of Travelers Companies exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2.6 million shares. The stock ranged in a price between $62.66-$63.65 after having opened the day at $62.83 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $62.72. Other companies within the Financial sector that increased today were: Chanticleer Holdings ( HOTR), up 24.1%, Ohio Legacy Corporation ( OLCB), up 16.7%, American Realty Investors ( ARL), up 14.7%, and Anchor Bancorp ( ANCB), up 14.6%.

The Travelers Companies, Inc., through its subsidiaries, provides various commercial and personal property and casualty insurance products and services to businesses, government units, associations, and individuals primarily in the United States. Travelers Companies has a market cap of $23.74 billion and is part of the insurance industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 11.1, equal to the average insurance industry P/E ratio and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 6% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are 11 analysts that rate Travelers Companies a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 11 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Travelers Companies as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, increase in net income, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, attractive valuation levels and good cash flow from operations. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat disappointing return on equity.

On the negative front, Summit Financial Group ( SMMF), down 18.8%, Credit Suisse ( DGAZ), down 17.5%, Bank VA Chesterfield ( BOVA), down 9.1%, and Broadway Financial ( BYFC), down 9.1%, were all laggards within the financial sector with Fifth Third Bancorp ( FITB) being today's financial sector laggard.

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).