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 83 points (0.6%) at 13,218 as of Monday, Dec. 17, 2012, 11:50 AM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,993 issues advancing vs. 968 declining with 126 unchanged.

The Financial sector currently sits up 0.6% versus the S&P 500, which is up 0.9%. Top gainers within the sector include PNC Financial Services Group ( PNC), up 2.8%, BB&T ( BBT), up 2.6%, Goldman Sachs Group ( GS), up 2.4%, Nomura Holdings ( NMR), up 2.5% and T. Rowe Price Group ( TROW), up 2.3%. A company within the sector that fell today was Banco Santander ( SAN), up 0.8%.

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

5. Wells Fargo ( WFC) is one of the companies pushing the Financial sector higher today. As of noon trading, Wells Fargo is up $0.98 (3.0%) to $34.14 on average volume Thus far, 13.4 million shares of Wells Fargo exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 25.2 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $33.25-$34.15 after having opened the day at $33.25 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $33.15.

Wells Fargo & Company provides retail, commercial, and corporate banking services. The company operates in three segments: Community Banking; Wholesale Banking; and Wealth, Brokerage, and Retirement. Wells Fargo has a market cap of $175.1 billion and is part of the banking industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 10.5, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 20.7% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are 19 analysts that rate Wells Fargo a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 7 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 solid stock price performance, impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income, revenue growth and good cash flow from operations. 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.

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4. As of noon trading, American International Group ( AIG) is up $0.81 (2.4%) to $34.75 on average volume Thus far, 14.3 million shares of American International Group exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 25.2 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $34.22-$34.75 after having opened the day at $34.62 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $33.94.

American International Group, Inc. engages in the provision of insurance products and services for the commercial, institutional, and individual customers in the United States and internationally. The company operates in three segments: Chartis, SunAmerica Financial Group, and Aircraft Leasing. American International Group has a market cap of $50.5 billion and is part of the insurance industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 2.3, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 47.6% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are 10 analysts that rate American International Group a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 8 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates American International Group as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, solid stock price performance and compelling growth in net income. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including weak operating cash flow, poor profit margins and feeble growth in the company's earnings per share. Get the full American International Group Ratings Report now.

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3. As of noon trading, JPMorgan Chase ( JPM) is up $0.37 (0.9%) to $43.18 on light volume Thus far, 8.5 million shares of JPMorgan Chase exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 23.3 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $42.81-$43.43 after having opened the day at $43.00 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $42.81.

JPMorgan Chase & Co., a financial holding company, provides various financial services worldwide. JPMorgan Chase has a market cap of $162.6 billion and is part of the banking industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 9.0, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 28.7% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are 20 analysts that rate JPMorgan Chase a buy, 2 analysts rate it a sell, and 6 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates JPMorgan Chase as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, expanding profit margins, solid stock price performance, growth in earnings per share and increase in net income. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had generally high debt management risk by most measures that we evaluated. Get the full JPMorgan Chase Ratings Report now.

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2. As of noon trading, Citigroup ( C) is up $0.92 (2.4%) to $38.52 on average volume Thus far, 20.4 million shares of Citigroup exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 39.5 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $37.76-$38.65 after having opened the day at $37.77 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $37.60.

Citigroup, Inc., a diversified financial services holding company, provides a range of financial products and services to consumers, corporations, governments, and institutions worldwide. The company operates through two segments, Citicorp and Citi Holdings. Citigroup has a market cap of $109.4 billion and is part of the banking industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 15.7, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 41.7% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are 17 analysts that rate Citigroup a buy, 3 analysts rate it a sell, and 4 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Citigroup as a hold. Among the primary strengths of the company is its solid stock price performance. At the same time, however, we also find weaknesses including deteriorating net income, generally higher debt management risk and disappointing return on equity. Get the full Citigroup Ratings Report now.

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1. As of noon trading, Bank of America Corporation ( BAC) is up $0.29 (2.7%) to $10.87 on average volume Thus far, 71.2 million shares of Bank of America Corporation exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 149.8 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $10.64-$10.87 after having opened the day at $10.64 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $10.58.

Bank of America Corporation, through its subsidiaries, provides various banking and financial products and services to individual consumers, small-and middle-market businesses, institutional investors, corporations, and governments in the United States and internationally. Bank of America Corporation has a market cap of $113.6 billion and is part of the banking industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 15.3, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 89.6% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are 9 analysts that rate Bank of America Corporation a buy, 2 analysts rate it a sell, and 15 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Bank of America Corporation as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its good cash flow from operations, expanding profit margins and notable return on equity. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including unimpressive growth in net income and generally higher debt management risk. Get the full Bank of America 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 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.

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