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

All three major indices are trading up today with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) trading up 42 points (0.3%) at 14,338 as of Thursday, March 7, 2013, 11:50 AM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,674 issues advancing vs. 1,197 declining with 153 unchanged.

The Financial sector currently sits up 0.2% versus the S&P 500, which is up 0.2%. Top gainers within the sector include HDFC Bank ( HDB), up 3.4%, Charles Schwab ( SCHW), up 2.2%, SunTrust Banks ( STI), up 1.9%, BB&T ( BBT), up 1.8% and Prudential Financial ( PRU), up 1.5%. On the negative front, top decliners within the sector include Lloyds Banking Group ( LYG), down 2.6%, Royal Bank of Scotland Group (The ( RBS), down 1.9%, Nomura Holdings ( NMR), down 1.8%, Shinhan Financial Group ( SHG), down 1.4% and American Express ( AXP), down 0.6%.

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

5. MetLife ( MET) is one of the companies pushing the Financial sector higher today. As of noon trading, MetLife is up $0.24 (0.7%) to $36.78 on light volume Thus far, 2.4 million shares of MetLife exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 9.7 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $36.61-$37.00 after having opened the day at $36.62 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $36.54.

MetLife, Inc., through its subsidiaries, provides insurance, annuities, and employee benefit programs in the United States, Japan, Latin America, the Asia Pacific, Europe, and the Middle East. MetLife has a market cap of $39.8 billion and is part of the insurance industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 33.7, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 10.9% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 15 analysts that rate MetLife a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 4 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates MetLife as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, reasonable valuation levels, good cash flow from operations 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 MetLife Ratings Report now.

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