5 Stocks Pushing The Financial Sector Higher

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

All three major indices are trading up today with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) trading up 48 points (0.4%) at 12,859 as of Friday, Nov. 9, 2012, 11:50 AM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,662 issues advancing vs. 1,212 declining with 143 unchanged.

The Financial sector currently sits up 0.2% versus the S&P 500, which is up 0.6%. Top gainers within the sector include Manulife Financial Corporation ( MFC), up 3.0%, Public Storage ( PSA), up 2.7%, Sun Life Financial ( SLF), up 2.5%, American International Group ( AIG), up 2.5% and Morgan Stanley ( MS), up 2.1%. A company within the sector that fell today was Aegon ( AEG), up 2.4%.

TheStreet Ratings group would like to highlight 5 stocks pushing the sector higher today:

5. Berkshire Hathaway ( BRK.A) is one of the companies pushing the Financial sector higher today. As of noon trading, Berkshire Hathaway is up $1,069.40 (0.8%) to $127,969.40 on average volume Thus far, 306 shares of Berkshire Hathaway exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 500 shares. The stock has ranged in price between $125,950.00-$127,971.00 after having opened the day at $126,847.00 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $126,900.00.

Berkshire Hathaway, Inc. is a publicly owned investment manager. Through its subsidiaries, the firm primarily engages in the insurance and reinsurance of property and casualty risks business. Berkshire Hathaway was founded in 1889 and is based in Omaha, Nebraska. Berkshire Hathaway has a market cap of $118.0 billion and is part of the insurance industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 1915.8, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 11.9% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Berkshire Hathaway as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, compelling growth in net income, good cash flow from operations, increase in stock price during the past year and growth in earnings per share. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company is trading at a premium valuation based on our review of its current price compared to such things as earnings and book value. Get the full Berkshire Hathaway Ratings Report now.

4. As of noon trading, BlackRock ( BLK) is up $1.02 (0.6%) to $188.12 on light volume Thus far, 156,132 shares of BlackRock exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 697,500 shares. The stock has ranged in price between $186.47-$189.02 after having opened the day at $186.87 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $187.10.

BlackRock, Inc. is a publicly owned investment manager. The firm primarily provides its services to institutional, intermediary, and individual investors. BlackRock has a market cap of $31.8 billion and is part of the financial services industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 14.3, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 5.0% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 10 analysts that rate BlackRock a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 6 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates BlackRock as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, solid stock price performance, growth in earnings per share, expanding profit margins and increase in net income. Although no company is perfect, currently we do not see any significant weaknesses which are likely to detract from the generally positive outlook. Get the full BlackRock Ratings Report now.

3. As of noon trading, Hartford Financial Services Group ( HIG) is up $0.50 (2.5%) to $20.94 on light volume Thus far, 2.5 million shares of Hartford Financial Services Group exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 7.6 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $20.31-$20.98 after having opened the day at $20.46 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $20.44.

The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, provides insurance and financial services primarily in the United States and Japan. Hartford Financial Services Group has a market cap of $9.1 billion and is part of the insurance industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 22.6, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 27.9% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 7 analysts that rate Hartford Financial Services Group a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 8 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Hartford Financial Services Group as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, attractive valuation levels, good cash flow from operations and solid stock price performance. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat disappointing return on equity. Get the full Hartford Financial Services Group Ratings Report now.

2. As of noon trading, Prudential Financial ( PRU) is up $0.68 (1.3%) to $53.44 on average volume Thus far, 1.4 million shares of Prudential Financial exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3.0 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $52.22-$53.69 after having opened the day at $52.34 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $52.76.

Prudential Financial, Inc., through its subsidiaries, provides various financial products and services, including life insurance, annuities, retirement-related services, mutual funds, and investment management services in the United States, Asia, Europe, and Latin America. Prudential Financial has a market cap of $25.7 billion and is part of the insurance industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 7.8, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 10.5% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 13 analysts that rate Prudential Financial a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 4 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Prudential Financial as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, compelling growth in net income, attractive valuation levels, good cash flow from operations and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins. Get the full Prudential Financial Ratings Report now.

1. As of noon trading, Wells Fargo ( WFC) is up $0.22 (0.7%) to $32.57 on light volume Thus far, 9.1 million shares of Wells Fargo exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 24.9 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $32.25-$32.70 after having opened the day at $32.33 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $32.35.

Wells Fargo & Company, through its subsidiaries, provides retail, commercial, and corporate banking services primarily in the United States. The company operates in three segments: Community Banking; Wholesale Banking; and Wealth, Brokerage, and Retirement. Wells Fargo has a market cap of $173.2 billion and is part of the banking industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 10.3, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 19.4% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 20 analysts that rate Wells Fargo a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 6 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Wells Fargo as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, solid stock price performance, impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income and expanding profit margins. Although no company is perfect, currently we do not see any significant weaknesses which are likely to detract from the generally positive outlook. Get the full Wells Fargo Ratings Report now.

If you are interested in one of these 5 stocks, 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).

A reminder about TheStreet Ratings group: 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.
null