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Allstate ( ALL) pushed the Financial sector higher today making it today's featured financial winner. The sector as a whole closed the day up 0.9%. By the end of trading, Allstate rose $1.05 (2.1%) to $52.08 on average volume. Throughout the day, 3,104,229 shares of Allstate exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3,487,500 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $51.25-$52.38 after having opened the day at $51.31 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $51.03. Other companies within the Financial sector that increased today were: China HGS Real Estate ( HGSH), up 22.4%, First Marblehead Corporation ( FMD), up 10.2%, OptimumBank Holdings ( OPHC), up 10.0% and First Community Corporation ( FCCO), up 9.9%.

The Allstate Corporation, through its subsidiaries, engages in the provision of personal property and casualty insurance, life insurance, and retirement and investment products primarily in the United States. Allstate has a market cap of $23.9 billion and is part of the insurance industry. Shares are up 27.0% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 11 analysts that rate Allstate a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 10 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Allstate as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, solid stock price performance, notable return on equity, attractive valuation levels and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins.

On the negative front, Millennium India Acquisition Corporation ( SMCG), down 34.6%, Credit Suisse ( DGAZ), down 14.4%, Central Federal ( CFBK), down 8.2% and Credit Suisse ( DOIL), down 6.5%.

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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