Morgan Stanley (MS): Today's Featured Financial Services Laggard

Morgan Stanley ( MS) pushed the Financial Services industry lower today making it today's featured Financial Services laggard. The industry as a whole was unchanged today. By the end of trading, Morgan Stanley fell $0.61 (-2.4%) to $24.43 on average volume. Throughout the day, 18,158,479 shares of Morgan Stanley exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 20,028,500 shares. The stock ranged in price between $24.26-$24.88 after having opened the day at $24.77 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $25.04. Other companies within the Financial Services industry that declined today were: Security National Financial Corporation ( SNFCA), down 6.5%, US Global Investors ( GROW), down 6.2%, Palmetto ( PLMT), down 6.1% and JMP Group ( JMP), down 5.2%.

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 $48.8 billion and is part of the financial sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 47.1, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 31.0% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 12 analysts that rate Morgan Stanley a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 8 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 positive front, Investors Capital Holdings ( ICH), up 11.9%, Global X Silver Miners ETF ( SIL), up 8.7%, First Marblehead Corporation ( FMD), up 7.3% and ClearBridge Energy MLP Total Return Fund In ( CTR), up 5.3% , were all gainers within the financial services industry with Charles Schwab ( SCHW) being today's featured financial services industry leader.

For investors not wanting singular stock exposure, ETFs may be of interest. Investors who are bullish on the financial services industry could consider Financial Select Sector SPDR ( XLF) while those bearish on the financial services industry could consider Proshares Short Financials ( SEF).

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12-months. Learn more.
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