5 Financial Stocks Driving 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 12 points (0.1%) at 15,069 as of Wednesday, May 8, 2013, 12:55 PM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,670 issues advancing vs. 1,254 declining with 121 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 ING Groep N.V ( ING), up 3.8%, Lloyds Banking Group ( LYG), up 2.3%, Citigroup ( C), up 2.2%, UBS ( UBS), up 2.0% and Bank of America Corporation ( BAC), up 1.7%. On the negative front, top decliners within the sector include Royal Bank of Scotland Group (The ( RBS), down 1.88, HCP ( HCP), down 1.71, Orix Corporation ( IX), down 1.53, Health Care REIT ( HCN), down 1.50 and Visa ( V), down 1.00.

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

5. SunTrust Banks ( STI) is one of the companies pushing the Financial sector higher today. As of noon trading, SunTrust Banks is up $0.69 (2.28) to $30.98 on average volume Thus far, 3.5 million shares of SunTrust Banks exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 5.1 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $30.07-$31.04 after having opened the day at $30.27 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $30.29.

SunTrust Banks, Inc. operates as the holding company for SunTrust Bank that provides various financial services in the United States. The company operates in three segments: Consumer Banking and Private Wealth Management, Wholesale Banking, and Mortgage Banking. SunTrust Banks has a market cap of $16.1 billion and is part of the banking industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 7.9, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 6.8% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 11 analysts that rate SunTrust Banks a buy, 4 analysts rate it a sell, and 9 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates SunTrust Banks as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, compelling growth in net income, attractive valuation levels, expanding profit margins and notable return on equity. Although no company is perfect, currently we do not see any significant weaknesses which are likely to detract from the generally positive outlook. Get the full SunTrust Banks Ratings Report now.

Exclusive Offer: Jim Cramer's 'go-to' small/mid-cap guru Bryan Ashenberg only buys stocks he thinks could return 50-100%. See his top picks for 14-days FREE.

4. As of noon trading, American Tower ( AMT) is up $1.41 (1.69) to $84.96 on average volume Thus far, 1.0 million shares of American Tower exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2.2 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $83.25-$85.01 after having opened the day at $83.50 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $83.55.

American Tower Corporation, a real estate investment trust, operates as a wireless and broadcast communications infrastructure company. It develops, owns, and operates communications sites. American Tower has a market cap of $32.9 billion and is part of the telecommunications industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 56.1, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 8.1% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 13 analysts that rate American Tower a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 1 rates it a hold.

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

Exclusive Offer: Jim Cramer's 'go-to' small/mid-cap guru Bryan Ashenberg only buys stocks he thinks could return 50-100%. See his top picks for 14-days FREE.

3. As of noon trading, MetLife ( MET) is up $0.26 (0.64) to $41.04 on light volume Thus far, 2.6 million shares of MetLife exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 9.3 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $40.60-$41.20 after having opened the day at $40.66 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $40.78.

MetLife, Inc., through its subsidiaries, provides insurance, annuities, and employee benefit programs in the United States, Japan, Latin America, the Middle East, Asia, and Europe. MetLife has a market cap of $44.7 billion and is part of the insurance industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 34.2, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 23.8% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. 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 increase in stock price during the past year, increase in net income, revenue growth and growth in earnings per share. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins. Get the full MetLife Ratings Report now.

Exclusive Offer: Jim Cramer's 'go-to' small/mid-cap guru Bryan Ashenberg only buys stocks he thinks could return 50-100%. See his top picks for 14-days FREE.

2. As of noon trading, Morgan Stanley ( MS) is up $0.32 (1.37) to $23.59 on light volume Thus far, 6.4 million shares of Morgan Stanley exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 19.6 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $21.51-$23.62 after having opened the day at $23.19 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $23.27.

Morgan Stanley, a financial holding company, provides various financial products and services to corporations, governments, financial institutions, and individuals worldwide. Morgan Stanley has a market cap of $45.6 billion and is part of the financial services industry. Shares are up 21.7% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 12 analysts that rate Morgan Stanley a buy, 2 analysts rate it a sell, and 7 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Morgan Stanley as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, increase in net income and solid stock price performance. However, as a counter to these strengths, we find that the company's return on equity has been disappointing. Get the full Morgan Stanley Ratings Report now.

Exclusive Offer: Jim Cramer's 'go-to' small/mid-cap guru Bryan Ashenberg only buys stocks he thinks could return 50-100%. See his top picks for 14-days FREE.

1. As of noon trading, Wells Fargo ( WFC) is up $0.50 (1.30) to $38.60 on average volume Thus far, 10.5 million shares of Wells Fargo exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 22.1 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $38.05-$38.67 after having opened the day at $38.12 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $38.10.

Wells Fargo & Company provides retail, commercial, and corporate banking services. Wells Fargo has a market cap of $199.9 billion and is part of the banking industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 10.7, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 12.3% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 16 analysts that rate Wells Fargo a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 9 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Wells Fargo as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its increase in stock price during the past year, impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income, expanding profit margins and notable return on equity. Although the company may harbor some minor weaknesses, we feel they are unlikely to have a significant impact on results. Get the full Wells Fargo Ratings Report now.

Exclusive Offer: Jim Cramer's 'go-to' small/mid-cap guru Bryan Ashenberg only buys stocks he thinks could return 50-100%. See his top picks for 14-days FREE.

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.

null

More from Markets

Video: There Are Some Big Changes Coming to the PGA Championships in 2019

Video: There Are Some Big Changes Coming to the PGA Championships in 2019

Video: One-on-One With Pluralsight's CEO Following Its Successful IPO

Video: One-on-One With Pluralsight's CEO Following Its Successful IPO

CBS-Viacom Battle Comes to a Head; FDA Approves Novartis Migraine Drug --ICMYI

CBS-Viacom Battle Comes to a Head; FDA Approves Novartis Migraine Drug --ICMYI

Listen: Here's What You Need To Know About ETFs Today (Hint: They're on Fire!)

Listen: Here's What You Need To Know About ETFs Today (Hint: They're on Fire!)

Cramer and His Team Stick to Their Disciplines -- Even When It's Disappointing

Cramer and His Team Stick to Their Disciplines -- Even When It's Disappointing