4 Stocks Pushing The Insurance Industry Lower

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 down today with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) trading down 28 points (-0.2%) at 13,217 as of Thursday, Dec. 13, 2012, 12:05 PM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,125 issues advancing vs. 1,742 declining with 157 unchanged.

The Insurance industry currently sits up 0.3% versus the S&P 500, which is down 0.3%. Top gainers within the industry include Proassurance Corporation ( PRA), up 6.8%, Aegon ( AEG), up 1.3% and ING Groep N.V ( ING), up 0.5%.

TheStreet Ratings group would like to highlight 4 stocks pushing the industry lower today:

4. Cincinnati Financial Corporation ( CINF) is one of the companies pushing the Insurance industry lower today. As of noon trading, Cincinnati Financial Corporation is down $0.33 (-0.8%) to $40.25 on light volume Thus far, 289,537 shares of Cincinnati Financial Corporation exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 784,700 shares. The stock has ranged in price between $40.19-$40.63 after having opened the day at $40.45 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $40.58.

Cincinnati Financial Corporation engages in the property casualty insurance business in the United States. Its Commercial Lines Property Casualty Insurance segment provides coverage for commercial casualty, commercial property, commercial auto, and workers' compensation. Cincinnati Financial Corporation has a market cap of $6.6 billion and is part of the financial sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 18.2, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 33.2% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there is 1 analyst that rates Cincinnati Financial Corporation a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 6 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Cincinnati Financial Corporation as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its compelling growth in net income, revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, solid stock price performance and reasonable valuation levels. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins. Get the full Cincinnati Financial Corporation Ratings Report now.

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3. As of noon trading, Everest Re Group ( RE) is down $1.05 (-1.0%) to $107.50 on light volume Thus far, 116,482 shares of Everest Re Group exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 320,200 shares. The stock has ranged in price between $107.43-$108.81 after having opened the day at $108.60 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $108.55.

Everest Re Group, Ltd., together with its subsidiaries, underwrites reinsurance and insurance in the United States (U.S.), Bermuda, and international markets. It operates in four segments: U.S. Reinsurance, Insurance, International, and Bermuda. The U.S. Everest Re Group has a market cap of $5.6 billion and is part of the financial sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 7.1, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 29.3% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 4 analysts that rate Everest Re Group a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 6 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Everest Re Group as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its compelling growth in net income, revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, solid stock price performance and attractive valuation levels. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow. Get the full Everest Re Group Ratings Report now.

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2. As of noon trading, Loews Corporation ( L) is down $0.34 (-0.8%) to $41.10 on light volume Thus far, 233,349 shares of Loews Corporation exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 977,200 shares. The stock has ranged in price between $40.98-$41.44 after having opened the day at $41.40 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $41.44.

Loews Corporation operates primarily as a commercial property and casualty insurance company. Loews Corporation has a market cap of $16.3 billion and is part of the financial sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 18.9, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 10.2% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there is 1 analyst that rates Loews Corporation a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 1 rates it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Loews Corporation as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, attractive valuation levels, increase in stock price during the past year, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and increase in net income. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat disappointing return on equity. Get the full Loews Corporation Ratings Report now.

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1. As of noon trading, Progressive Corporation ( PGR) is down $0.16 (-0.8%) to $21.26 on light volume Thus far, 1.4 million shares of Progressive Corporation exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 6.1 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $21.22-$21.43 after having opened the day at $21.38 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $21.42.

The Progressive Corporation, through its subsidiaries, provides personal and commercial automobile insurance, and other specialty property-casualty insurance products and related services primarily in the United States. Progressive Corporation has a market cap of $13.0 billion and is part of the financial sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 14.5, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 9.8% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 6 analysts that rate Progressive Corporation a buy, 3 analysts rate it a sell, and 11 rate it a hold.

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

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If you are interested in one of these 5 stocks, ETFs may be of interest. Investors who are bullish on the insurance industry could consider KBW Insurance ETF ( KIE) while those bearish on the insurance industry 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.

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