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

Two out of the three major indices are trading up today with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) trading up 32 points (0.2%) at 14,286 as of Wednesday, March 6, 2013, 11:50 AM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,509 issues advancing vs. 1,334 declining with 158 unchanged.

The Financial sector currently sits up 0.1% versus the S&P 500, which is up 0.1%. Top gainers within the sector include Regions Financial Corporation ( RF), up 3.2%, Bank of America Corporation ( BAC), up 2.5%, Aegon ( AEG), up 2.5%, ING Groep N.V ( ING), up 2.0% and KeyCorp ( KEY), up 2.0%. On the negative front, top decliners within the sector include Lloyds Banking Group ( LYG), down 1.9%, Banco Santander ( SAN), down 1.3%, Royal Bank of Scotland Group (The ( RBS), down 1.6%, Vornado Realty ( VNO), down 1.1% and Morgan Stanley ( MS), down 0.8%.

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

5. CME Group ( CME) is one of the companies pushing the Financial sector higher today. As of noon trading, CME Group is up $0.83 (1.4%) to $62.01 on light volume Thus far, 717,448 shares of CME Group exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2.3 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $61.29-$62.16 after having opened the day at $61.32 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $61.18.

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 $20.3 billion and is part of the financial services industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 22.5, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 20.2% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 7 analysts that rate CME Group a buy, 3 analysts rate it a sell, and 5 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 and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income. Get the full CME Group Ratings Report now.

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4. As of noon trading, Charles Schwab ( SCHW) is up $0.31 (1.8%) to $17.29 on light volume Thus far, 2.9 million shares of Charles Schwab exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 10.2 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $17.06-$17.29 after having opened the day at $17.09 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $16.98.

The Charles Schwab Corporation, through its subsidiaries, provides securities brokerage, banking, and related financial services to individuals and institutional clients. Charles Schwab has a market cap of $21.4 billion and is part of the financial services industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 24.3, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 18.2% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 4 analysts that rate Charles Schwab a buy, 2 analysts rate it a sell, and 11 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Charles Schwab as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, good cash flow from operations, 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 somewhat disappointing return on equity. Get the full Charles Schwab Ratings Report now.

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3. As of noon trading, Discover Financial Services ( DFS) is up $0.60 (1.5%) to $41.18 on average volume Thus far, 3.1 million shares of Discover Financial Services exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 5.3 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $41.12-$41.63 after having opened the day at $41.12 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $40.58.

Discover Financial Services, a bank holding company, provides direct banking and payment services in the United States. It operates in two segments, Direct Banking and Payment Services. Discover Financial Services has a market cap of $19.7 billion and is part of the financial services industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 8.9, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 5.3% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 13 analysts that rate Discover Financial Services a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 5 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Discover Financial Services as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, increase in net income, revenue growth, good cash flow from operations and expanding profit margins. 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 Discover Financial Services Ratings Report now.

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2. As of noon trading, American Express ( AXP) is up $0.51 (0.8%) to $64.63 on light volume Thus far, 1.8 million shares of American Express exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 5.6 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $64.35-$64.87 after having opened the day at $64.41 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $64.12.

American Express Company provides charge and credit payment card products and travel-related services to customers worldwide. American Express has a market cap of $69.5 billion and is part of the financial services industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 16.2, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 11.6% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 9 analysts that rate American Express a buy, 2 analysts rate it a sell, and 11 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates American Express as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, solid stock price performance and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income. Get the full American Express Ratings Report now.

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1. As of noon trading, JPMorgan Chase ( JPM) is up $0.27 (0.6%) to $49.76 on light volume Thus far, 7.2 million shares of JPMorgan Chase exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 23.8 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $49.62-$50.00 after having opened the day at $49.88 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $49.49.

JPMorgan Chase & Co., a financial holding company, provides various financial services worldwide. JPMorgan Chase has a market cap of $187.9 billion and is part of the banking industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 9.4, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 12.6% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 21 analysts that rate JPMorgan Chase a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 4 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 solid stock price performance, impressive record of earnings per share growth, increase in net income, revenue growth and attractive valuation levels. 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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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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