CME Group Inc. (CME): 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.

CME Group ( CME) pushed the Financial sector higher today making it today's featured financial winner. The sector as a whole closed the day down 0.1%. By the end of trading, CME Group rose 70 cents (1.3%) to $54.02 on average volume. Throughout the day, 1.6 million shares of CME Group exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1.9 million shares. The stock ranged in a price between $53.35-$54.14 after having opened the day at $53.35 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $53.32. Other companies within the Financial sector that increased today were: Altisource Residential Corporation ( RESI), up 22.7%, Jacksonville Bancorp Inc (FL ( JAXB), up 19%, Virginia Commerce Bancorp ( VCBI), up 11.2%, and Porter Bancorp ( PBIB), up 10.6%.
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CME Group Inc. operates the CME, CBOT, NYMEX and COMEX futures exchanges worldwide. The company provides a range of products across various asset classes, such as interest rates, equity indexes, foreign exchange, energy, agricultural commodities, metals, weather, and real estate. CME Group has a market cap of $17.62 billion and is part of the financial services industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 11.9, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 4.3% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are seven analysts that rate CME Group a buy, two analysts rate it a sell, and five rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates CME Group as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its expanding profit margins, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures 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, Credit Suisse ( DGAZ), down 12.3%, Cascade Bancorp ( CACB), down 11.7%, Waterstone Financial ( WSBF), down 10.6%, and Royal Bancshares of Pennsylvania ( RBPAA), down 9.4%, were all laggards within the financial sector with Fifth Third Bancorp ( FITB) 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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