Morgan Stanley (MS): Today's Featured Financial Services 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.

Morgan Stanley ( MS) pushed the Financial Services industry higher today making it today's featured financial services winner. The industry as a whole closed the day up 0.4%. By the end of trading, Morgan Stanley rose 35 cents (1.5%) to $23.63 on light volume. Throughout the day, 15.1 million shares of Morgan Stanley exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 20.6 million shares. The stock ranged in a price between $23.20-$23.65 after having opened the day at $23.30 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $23.28. Other companies within the Financial Services industry that increased today were: Regional Management ( RM), up 5.5%, ProShares Ultra KBW Regional Banking ( KRU), up 4.4%, Westwood Holdings Group ( WHG), up 3.9%, and Asset Acceptance Capital Corporation ( AACC), up 3.5%.
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Morgan Stanley, a financial holding company, provides various financial products and services to corporations, governments, financial institutions, and individuals worldwide. Morgan Stanley has a market cap of $46.04 billion and is part of the financial sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 14.7, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 22% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are 11 analysts that rate Morgan Stanley a buy, two analysts rate it a sell, and 10 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Morgan Stanley as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, increase in net income and growth in earnings per share. However, as a counter to these strengths, we find that the company's return on equity has been disappointing.

On the negative front, Millennium India Acquisition Corporation ( SMCG), down 8.4%, First Marblehead Corporation ( FMD), down 6%, Community Bankers Trust Corporation ( BTC), down 4.2%, and US Global Investors ( GROW), down 2.7%, were all laggards within the financial services industry with Discover Financial Services ( DFS) being today's financial services industry laggard.

For investors not wanting singular stock exposure, ETFs may be of interest. Investors who are bullish on the financial services industry could consider Financial Select Sector SPDR ( XLF) while those bearish on the financial services industry could consider Proshares Short Financials ( SEF).

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