4 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

One out of the three major indices are trading lower today with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) trading down 15 points (-0.1%) at 14,074 as of Monday, March 4, 2013, 12:05 PM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,220 issues advancing vs. 1,591 declining with 184 unchanged.

The Financial sector currently sits up 0.2% versus the S&P 500, which is unchanged. Top gainers within the sector include Orix Corporation ( IX), up 5.0%, Charles Schwab ( SCHW), up 1.5%, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group ( MTU), up 0.7%, Citigroup ( C), up 0.6% and Bank of New York Mellon ( BK), up 0.6%. On the negative front, top decliners within the sector include Credit Suisse Group ( CS), down 2.8%, Royal Bank of Scotland Group (The ( RBS), down 2.0%, UBS ( UBS), down 1.8%, Deutsche Bank ( DB), down 1.4% and ING Groep N.V ( ING), down 1.0%.

TheStreet Ratings group would like to highlight 4 stocks pushing the sector higher today:

4. Regions Financial Corporation ( RF) is one of the companies pushing the Financial sector higher today. As of noon trading, Regions Financial Corporation is up $0.14 (1.8%) to $7.84 on light volume Thus far, 5.2 million shares of Regions Financial Corporation exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 16.1 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $7.65-$7.85 after having opened the day at $7.67 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $7.71.

Regions Financial Corporation operates as the holding company for Regions Bank that provides a range of commercial, retail, and mortgage banking services in the United States. Regions Financial Corporation has a market cap of $10.8 billion and is part of the banking industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 10.1, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 7.3% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are 7 analysts that rate Regions Financial Corporation a buy, 2 analysts rate it a sell, and 10 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Regions Financial Corporation 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, attractive valuation levels and expanding profit margins. 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 Regions Financial Corporation Ratings Report now.

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3. As of noon trading, BlackRock ( BLK) is up $2.37 (1.0%) to $239.20 on light volume Thus far, 259,901 shares of BlackRock exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 789,900 shares. The stock has ranged in price between $236.00-$239.21 after having opened the day at $236.23 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $236.83.

BlackRock, Inc. is a publicly owned investment manager. The firm primarily provides its services to institutional, intermediary, and individual investors. BlackRock has a market cap of $41.8 billion and is part of the financial services industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 17.5, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 16.0% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are 12 analysts that rate BlackRock a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 6 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates BlackRock as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, solid stock price performance, growth in earnings per share, expanding profit margins and increase in net income. 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 BlackRock Ratings Report now.

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2. As of noon trading, PNC Financial Services Group ( PNC) is up $0.36 (0.6%) to $63.14 on light volume Thus far, 718,328 shares of PNC Financial Services Group exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3.5 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $62.42-$63.20 after having opened the day at $62.64 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $62.78.

The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. operates as a diversified financial services company in the United States and internationally. The company's Retail Banking segment provides deposit, lending, brokerage, investment management, and cash management services. PNC Financial Services Group has a market cap of $33.0 billion and is part of the banking industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 11.8, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 7.0% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are 17 analysts that rate PNC Financial Services Group a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 7 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates PNC Financial Services Group as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, increase in net income, expanding profit margins, growth in earnings per share and increase in stock price during the past year. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat disappointing return on equity. Get the full PNC Financial Services Group Ratings Report now.

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1. As of noon trading, State Street ( STT) is up $0.55 (1.0%) to $56.86 on light volume Thus far, 712,048 shares of State Street exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 4.5 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $56.26-$56.89 after having opened the day at $56.29 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $56.31.

State Street Corporation, a financial holding company, provides various financial products and services to institutional investors worldwide. State Street has a market cap of $25.9 billion and is part of the banking industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 13.5, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 20.4% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are 13 analysts that rate State Street a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 7 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates State Street as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, growth in earnings per share, revenue growth, attractive valuation levels and expanding profit margins. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat disappointing return on equity. Get the full State Street Ratings Report now.

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If you are interested in one of these 4 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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