Morgan Stanley (MS): Today's Featured Financial Winner

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

Morgan Stanley ( MS) pushed the Financial sector higher today making it today's featured financial winner. The sector as a whole closed the day up 1.4%. By the end of trading, Morgan Stanley rose $0.80 (3.1%) to $26.37 on average volume. Throughout the day, 19,344,032 shares of Morgan Stanley exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 19,886,900 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $25.42-$26.49 after having opened the day at $25.55 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $25.57. Other companies within the Financial sector that increased today were: Strategic Hotels & Resorts ( BEE), up 9.5%, Western Asset Mortgage Capital ( WMC), up 8.2%, Home Federal Bancorp ( HOME), up 7.6% and CYS Investments ( CYS), up 7.5%.
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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 $51.1 billion and is part of the financial services industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 46.6, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 33.7% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 13 analysts that rate Morgan Stanley a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 7 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Morgan Stanley as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, increase in net income, solid stock price performance and growth in earnings per share. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat disappointing return on equity.

On the negative front, Carolina Trust Bank ( CART), down 6.5%, China HGS Real Estate ( HGSH), down 5.9%, Oconee Federal Financial ( OFED), down 5.4% and American River Bankshares ( AMRB), down 5.3%.

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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