3 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

One out of the three major indices are trading lower today with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) trading up 35 points (0.3%) at 14,006 as of Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2013, 12:05 PM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,786 issues advancing vs. 1,060 declining with 154 unchanged.

The Insurance industry currently sits up 0.3% versus the S&P 500, which is up 0.1%.

TheStreet Ratings group would like to highlight 3 stocks pushing the industry lower today:

3. Marsh & McLennan Companies ( MMC) is one of the companies pushing the Insurance industry lower today. As of noon trading, Marsh & McLennan Companies is down $0.82 (-2.3%) to $35.53 on heavy volume Thus far, 5.3 million shares of Marsh & McLennan Companies exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3.0 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $34.43-$35.91 after having opened the day at $35.78 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $36.35.

Marsh & McLennan Companies, Inc., a professional services company, provides advice and solutions in the areas of risk, strategy, and human capital. It operates in two segments, Risk and Insurance Services, and Consulting. Marsh & McLennan Companies has a market cap of $19.9 billion and is part of the financial sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 17.5, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 6.0% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are 13 analysts that rate Marsh & McLennan Companies a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 3 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Marsh & McLennan Companies 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 notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins. Get the full Marsh & McLennan Companies Ratings Report now.

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2. As of noon trading, Aflac ( AFL) is down $0.72 (-1.4%) to $49.54 on heavy volume Thus far, 3.3 million shares of Aflac exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3.0 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $49.42-$50.22 after having opened the day at $50.11 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $50.26.

Aflac Incorporated, through its subsidiary, American Family Life Assurance Company of Columbus, provides supplemental health and life insurance. Aflac has a market cap of $23.6 billion and is part of the financial sector. Shares are down 5.2% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are 6 analysts that rate Aflac a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 13 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Aflac as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its growth in earnings per share, revenue growth, notable return on equity, attractive valuation levels and increase in net income. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins. Get the full Aflac Ratings Report now.

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1. As of noon trading, Prudential Financial ( PRU) is down $0.35 (-0.6%) to $56.86 on light volume Thus far, 853,127 shares of Prudential Financial exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3.2 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $56.81-$57.21 after having opened the day at $57.12 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $57.21.

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 $26.6 billion and is part of the financial sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 9.2, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 8.0% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are 14 analysts that rate Prudential Financial a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 5 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Prudential Financial as a buy. Among the primary strengths of the company is its robust revenue growth -- not just in the most recent periods but in previous quarters as well. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income. Get the full Prudential Financial 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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