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

One out of the three major indices are trading lower today with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) trading up 24 points (0.2%) at 14,421 as of Monday, March 11, 2013, 12:45 PM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,375 issues advancing vs. 1,531 declining with 142 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 Genworth Financial ( GNW), up 6.2%, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group ( MTU), up 5.0%, Nomura Holdings ( NMR), up 3.6%, Wells Fargo ( WFC), up 1.1% and MetLife ( MET), up 0.9%. On the negative front, top decliners within the sector include Royal Bank of Scotland Group (The ( RBS), down 1.6%, Brookfield Asset Management ( BAM), down 1.7% and Shinhan Financial Group ( SHG), down 1.3%.

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

5. Aflac ( AFL) is one of the companies pushing the Financial sector higher today. As of noon trading, Aflac is up $0.56 (1.1%) to $50.70 on average volume Thus far, 1.9 million shares of Aflac exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3.4 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $49.99-$50.78 after having opened the day at $50.10 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $50.14.

Aflac Incorporated, through its subsidiary, American Family Life Assurance Company of Columbus, provides supplemental health and life insurance. Aflac has a market cap of $24.1 billion and is part of the insurance industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 8.4, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 5.6% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are 8 analysts that rate Aflac a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 11 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Aflac as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, notable return on equity, attractive valuation levels and increase in stock price during the past year. 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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