3M Co (MMM): Today's Featured Conglomerates Laggard

3M ( MMM) pushed the Conglomerates sector lower today making it today's featured Conglomerates laggard. The sector as a whole closed the day down 1.3%. By the end of trading, 3M fell $1.12 (-1.2%) to $90.08 on average volume. Throughout the day, 2.9 million shares of 3M exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of three million shares. The stock ranged in price between $89.23-$90.73 after having opened the day at $90.11 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $91.20. Other company's within the Conglomerates sector that declined today were: Leucadia National Corporation ( LUK), down 5.6% and MGT Capital Investments ( MGT), down 4.8%.

3M Company operates as a diversified technology company worldwide. 3M has a market cap of $63.3 billion and is part of the conglomerates industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 14.9, equal to the average conglomerates industry P/E ratio and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 11.6% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are seven analysts that rate 3M a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and six rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates 3M as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, notable return on equity, growth in earnings per share, expanding profit margins and increase in stock price during the past year. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow.

For investors not wanting singular stock exposure, ETFs may be of interest. Investors who are bullish on the conglomerates sector could consider SPDR Trust Series one ( SPY) while those bearish on the conglomerates sector could consider ProShares Short S&P 500 ( SH).