Strong Performance Today In Financial From American Express Co (AXP)

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.

American Express ( AXP) pushed the Financial sector higher today making it today's featured financial winner. The sector as a whole closed the day up 0.5%. By the end of trading, American Express rose $1.07 (1.6%) to $67.17 on average volume. Throughout the day, 4.2 million shares of American Express exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 5.5 million shares. The stock ranged in a price between $66.37-$67.24 after having opened the day at $66.40 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $66.10. Other companies within the Financial sector that increased today were: Altisource Residential Corporation ( RESI), up 27.9%, Independent Bank Corp (Ionia MI ( IBCP), up 13.6%, Porter Bancorp ( PBIB), up 9%, and China HGS Real Estate ( HGSH), up 8.4%.
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American Express Company provides charge and credit payment card products and travel-related services to customers worldwide. American Express has a market cap of $72.97 billion and is part of the financial services industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 17, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 15% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are eight analysts that rate American Express a buy, one 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.

On the negative front, National Bank of Greece ( NBG), down 8.1%, Credit Suisse ( DGAZ), down 7.4%, Broadway Financial ( BYFC), down 7.2%, and Oak Ridge Financial Services ( BKOR), down 6.9%, were all laggards within the financial sector with Assured Guaranty ( AGO) being today's financial sector laggard.

For investors not wanting singular stock exposure, 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).

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