American Express Co (AXP): Today's Featured Financial Services Laggard

American Express ( AXP) pushed the Financial Services industry lower today making it today's featured Financial Services laggard. The industry as a whole closed the day up 0.2%. By the end of trading, American Express fell $1.28 (-1.6%) to $76.33 on average volume. Throughout the day, 4,740,421 shares of American Express exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 5,720,000 shares. The stock ranged in price between $75.94-$77.57 after having opened the day at $77.40 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $77.61. Other companies within the Financial Services industry that declined today were: PowerShares DB Multi-Sector Commodity Tr ( AGA), down 4.0%, China Ceramics ( CCCL), down 3.4%, Carlyle Group ( CG), down 3.1% and Cash Store Financial Services ( CSFS), down 2.4%.

American Express Company provides charge and credit payment card products and travel-related services to customers worldwide. American Express has a market cap of $84.6 billion and is part of the financial sector. Shares are up 34.0% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 7 analysts that rate American Express a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 12 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 increase in net income, revenue growth, good cash flow from operations, solid stock price performance and growth in earnings per share. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had generally high debt management risk by most measures that we evaluated.

On the positive front, Paulson Capital ( PLCC), up 13.3%, Federal Agricultural Mortgage ( AGM.A), up 9.2%, Siebert Financial Corporation ( SIEB), up 4.6% and First Marblehead Corporation ( FMD), up 4.0% , were all gainers within the financial services industry with NYSE Euronext ( NYX) 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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