Morgan Stanley (MS): Today's Featured Financial Services 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 Services industry higher today making it today's featured financial services winner. The industry as a whole closed the day down 1.1%. By the end of trading, Morgan Stanley rose 21 cents (1.2%) to $17.82 on average volume. Throughout the day, 18.9 million shares of Morgan Stanley exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 21.3 million shares. The stock ranged in a price between $17.52-$17.84 after having opened the day at $17.76 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $17.61. Other companies within the Financial Services industry that increased today were: Credit Suisse ( DSLV), up 12.2%, Security National Financial Corporation ( SNFCA), up 6.1%, Palmetto ( PLMT), up 4.7%, and Gleacher ( GLCH), up 4.2%.
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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 $34.33 billion and is part of the financial sector. The company has a P/E ratio of -32.8, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 14.9% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. 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 hold. The company's strongest point has been its very decent return on equity which we feel should persist. At the same time, however, we also find weaknesses including feeble growth in the company's earnings per share and deteriorating net income.

On the negative front, Millennium India Acquisition Corporation ( SMCG), down 23.1%, SGOCO Group ( SGOC), down 16.4%, First Marblehead Corporation ( FMD), down 16.4%, and Encore Capital Group ( ECPG), down 7.6%, were all laggards within the financial services industry with Bank of New York Mellon ( BK) being today's financial services industry laggard.

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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