5 Financial Stocks Nudging The 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 73 points (0.5%) at 14,495 as of Friday, March 22, 2013, 12:45 PM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,725 issues advancing vs. 1,132 declining with 170 unchanged.

The Financial sector currently sits up 0.2% versus the S&P 500, which is up 0.6%. Top gainers within the sector include Assured Guaranty ( AGO), up 4.0%, Credit Suisse Group ( CS), up 2.5%, Woori Finance Holdings ( WF), up 2.3%, Annaly Capital Management ( NLY), up 2.1% and American Capital Agency ( AGNC), up 1.6%. On the negative front, top decliners within the sector include Royal Bank of Scotland Group (The ( RBS), down 1.5%, Orix Corporation ( IX), down 1.0% and Banco De Chile ( BCH), down 0.8%.

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

5. Discover Financial Services ( DFS) is one of the companies pushing the Financial sector higher today. As of noon trading, Discover Financial Services is up $0.62 (1.4%) to $45.08 on light volume Thus far, 1.8 million shares of Discover Financial Services exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 5.2 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $44.50-$45.12 after having opened the day at $44.51 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $44.46.

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 $22.3 billion and is part of the financial services 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 15.4% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 14 analysts that rate Discover Financial Services a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 3 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, growth in earnings per share, increase in net income, revenue growth and good cash flow from operations. 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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4. As of noon trading, Capital One Financial ( COF) is up $0.29 (0.5%) to $54.00 on light volume Thus far, 883,988 shares of Capital One Financial exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 5.9 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $53.58-$54.07 after having opened the day at $53.69 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $53.71.

Capital One Financial Corporation operates as the bank holding company for the Capital One Bank (USA), National Association (COBNA); and Capital One, National Association (CONA), which provide various financial products and services in the United States. Capital One Financial has a market cap of $31.4 billion and is part of the financial services industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 8.2, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 7.3% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 19 analysts that rate Capital One Financial a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 4 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Capital One Financial as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, increase in net income, attractive valuation levels, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures 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 Capital One Financial Ratings Report now.

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3. As of noon trading, American Express ( AXP) is up $0.69 (1.0%) to $66.10 on light volume Thus far, 1.7 million shares of American Express exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 5.5 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $65.54-$66.35 after having opened the day at $65.59 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $65.41.

American Express Company provides charge and credit payment card products and travel-related services to customers worldwide. American Express has a market cap of $72.7 billion and is part of the financial services industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 17.0, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 13.8% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 8 analysts that rate American Express a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 10 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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2. As of noon trading, Goldman Sachs Group ( GS) is up $1.51 (1.0%) to $146.89 on average volume Thus far, 1.8 million shares of Goldman Sachs Group exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 4.5 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $145.61-$147.70 after having opened the day at $146.45 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $145.38.

The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. provides investment banking, securities, and investment management services, as well as financial services to corporations, financial institutions, governments, and high-net-worth individuals worldwide. Goldman Sachs Group has a market cap of $69.9 billion and is part of the financial services industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 10.6, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 14.0% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 5 analysts that rate Goldman Sachs Group a buy, 2 analysts rate it a sell, and 15 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Goldman Sachs Group as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, solid stock price performance, attractive valuation levels, expanding profit margins and compelling growth in net income. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow. Get the full Goldman Sachs Group Ratings Report now.

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1. As of noon trading, JPMorgan Chase ( JPM) is up $0.36 (0.7%) to $48.71 on average volume Thus far, 12.2 million shares of JPMorgan Chase exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 23.9 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $48.34-$49.00 after having opened the day at $48.63 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $48.35.

JPMorgan Chase & Co., a financial holding company, provides various financial services worldwide. JPMorgan Chase has a market cap of $188.0 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 10.0% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 19 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 revenue growth, solid stock price performance, impressive record of earnings per share growth, increase in net income 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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