Discover Financial Services (DFS): Today's Featured Financial Winner

Discover Financial Services ( DFS) pushed the Financial sector higher today making it today's featured financial winner. The sector as a whole closed the day up 0.8%. By the end of trading, Discover Financial Services rose $0.94 (2.0%) to $48.58 on average volume. Throughout the day, 3,777,206 shares of Discover Financial Services exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 4,334,900 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $47.95-$48.90 after having opened the day at $48.00 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $47.64. Other companies within the Financial sector that increased today were: Federal Agricultural Mortgage ( AGM.A), up 18.0%, Roberts Realty Investors ( RPI), up 17.6%, Altis Resident ( RESI), up 12.5% and AmeriServ Financial ( ASRV), up 9.5%.

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 $23.3 billion and is part of the financial services industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 10.8, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 23.5% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are 14 analysts that rate Discover Financial Services a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 4 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 revenue growth, solid stock price performance, growth in earnings per share, expanding profit margins and good cash flow from operations. Although no company is perfect, currently we do not see any significant weaknesses which are likely to detract from the generally positive outlook.

On the negative front, Howard Bancorp Inc Md ( HBMD), down 7.9%, IFM Investments ( CTC), down 7.3%, Citizens Holding Company ( CIZN), down 5.9% and United Community Financial Corporation ( UCFC), down 5.8% , were all laggards within the financial sector with Equity Residential ( EQR) 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).

3x UPSIDE POTENTIAL: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12-months. Learn more.

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