Morgan Stanley (MS): Today's Featured Financial Winner

Editor's Note: TheStreet ratings do not represent the views of TheStreet's staff or its contributors. Ratings are established by computer based on metrics for performance (which includes growth, stock performance, efficiency and valuation) and risk (volatility and solvency). Companies with poor cash flow or high debt levels tend to earn lower ratings in our model.

Morgan Stanley ( MS) pushed the Financial sector higher today making it today's featured financial winner. The sector as a whole closed the day up 0.7%. By the end of trading, Morgan Stanley rose 44 cents (2.6%) to $17.47 on average volume. Throughout the day, 19.5 million shares of Morgan Stanley exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 22.3 million shares. The stock ranged in a price between $17.24-$17.58 after having opened the day at $17.27 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $17.03. Other companies within the Financial sector that increased today were: Oconee Federal Financial ( OFED), up 14.5%, VelocityShares 3x Long Crude ETN ( UWTI), up 11.3%, Altisource Portfolio Solutions ( ASPS), up 11.1%, and Impac Mortgage Holdings ( IMH), up 10.8%.
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Morgan Stanley, a financial holding company, provides various financial products and services to corporations, governments, financial institutions, and individuals worldwide. Morgan Stanley has a market cap of $33.41 billion and is part of the financial services industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 12.7, below the average financial services industry P/E ratio of 14.6 and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 11.8% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 11 analysts that rate Morgan Stanley a buy, two analysts rate it a sell, and seven rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Morgan Stanley as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its attractive valuation levels, good cash flow from operations, increase in stock price during the past year and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.

On the negative front, Penson Worldwide ( PNSN), down 13.3%, VelocityShares 3x Inverse Crude ETN ( DWTI), down 11.3%, Broadway Financial ( BYFC), down 7.8%, and HMN Financial ( HMNF), down 6.5%, were all laggards within the financial sector with Equity Residential ( EQR) 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).

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