5 Stocks Driving The Financial Sector Higher

Editor's Note: Any reference to TheStreet Ratings and its underlying recommendation does not reflect the opinion of TheStreet, Inc. or any of its contributors including Jim Cramer or Stephanie Link.

All three major indices are trading up today with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) trading up 27 points (0.2%) at 15,548 as of Wednesday, July 31, 2013, 12:50 PM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,364 issues advancing vs. 1,544 declining with 117 unchanged.

The Financial sector currently sits down 0.1% versus the S&P 500, which is up 0.3%. Top gainers within the sector include Aegon ( AEG), up 2.1%, Aflac ( AFL), up 1.9%, Orix Corporation ( IX), up 1.8%, State Street ( STT), up 1.5% and MetLife ( MET), up 1.5%. On the negative front, top decliners within the sector include Jones Lang LaSalle ( JLL), down 7.1%, Boston Properties ( BXP), down 4.2%, Equity Residential ( EQR), down 4.0%, General Growth Properties ( GGP), down 3.7% and Ventas ( VTR), down 3.5%.

TheStreet would like to highlight 5 stocks pushing the sector higher today:

5. Goldman Sachs Group ( GS) is one of the companies pushing the Financial sector higher today. As of noon trading, Goldman Sachs Group is up $2.66 (1.6%) to $165.09 on average volume. Thus far, 1.6 million shares of Goldman Sachs Group exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3.6 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $162.43-$165.37 after having opened the day at $162.57 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $162.43.

The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. provides investment banking, securities, and investment management services, as well as financial services to corporations, financial institutions, governments, and high-net-worth individuals worldwide. Goldman Sachs Group has a market cap of $74.8 billion and is part of the financial services industry. Shares are up 27.3% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 4 analysts that rate Goldman Sachs Group a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 15 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Goldman Sachs Group as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, solid stock price performance, impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income and attractive valuation levels. Although the company may harbor some minor weaknesses, we feel they are unlikely to have a significant impact on results. Get the full Goldman Sachs Group Ratings Report now.

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

4. As of noon trading, Wells Fargo ( WFC) is up $0.56 (1.3%) to $43.82 on average volume. Thus far, 10.9 million shares of Wells Fargo exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 21.4 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $43.30-$43.90 after having opened the day at $43.30 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $43.26.

Wells Fargo & Company provides retail, commercial, and corporate banking services. Wells Fargo has a market cap of $229.1 billion and is part of the banking industry. Shares are up 26.6% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 12 analysts that rate Wells Fargo a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 13 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Wells Fargo as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, impressive record of earnings per share growth, expanding profit margins, notable return on equity and compelling growth in net income. Although no company is perfect, currently we do not see any significant weaknesses which are likely to detract from the generally positive outlook. Get the full Wells Fargo Ratings Report now.

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

3. As of noon trading, JPMorgan Chase ( JPM) is up $0.38 (0.7%) to $55.71 on light volume. Thus far, 6.9 million shares of JPMorgan Chase exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 21.9 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $55.55-$56.07 after having opened the day at $55.60 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $55.33.

JPMorgan Chase & Co., a financial holding company, provides various financial services worldwide. JPMorgan Chase has a market cap of $210.5 billion and is part of the banking industry. Shares are up 25.8% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 19 analysts that rate JPMorgan Chase a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 4 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates JPMorgan Chase as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income, revenue growth and attractive valuation levels. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had generally high debt management risk by most measures that we evaluated. Get the full JPMorgan Chase Ratings Report now.

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

2. As of noon trading, Citigroup ( C) is up $0.34 (0.7%) to $52.12 on light volume. Thus far, 10.1 million shares of Citigroup exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 30.8 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $51.71-$52.39 after having opened the day at $51.71 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $51.78.

Citigroup, Inc., a diversified financial services holding company, provides a range of financial products and services to consumers, corporations, governments, and institutions worldwide. The company operates through two segments, Citicorp and Citi Holdings. Citigroup has a market cap of $157.1 billion and is part of the banking industry. Shares are up 30.9% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 17 analysts that rate Citigroup a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 3 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Citigroup as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its increase in net income, revenue growth, attractive valuation levels, 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. Get the full Citigroup Ratings Report now.

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

1. As of noon trading, Bank of America Corporation ( BAC) is up $0.21 (1.4%) to $14.73 on average volume. Thus far, 59.2 million shares of Bank of America Corporation exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 127.5 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $14.57-$14.81 after having opened the day at $14.58 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $14.52.

Bank of America Corporation, through its subsidiaries, provides various banking and financial products and services for individual consumers, small and middle market businesses, institutional investors, corporations, and governments in the United States and internationally. Bank of America Corporation has a market cap of $156.5 billion and is part of the banking industry. Shares are up 25.1% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 7 analysts that rate Bank of America Corporation a buy, 2 analysts rate it a sell, and 14 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Bank of America Corporation as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its growth in earnings per share, increase in net income and expanding profit margins. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including generally higher debt management risk and disappointing return on equity. Get the full Bank of America Corporation Ratings Report now.

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

If you are interested in one of these 5 stocks, 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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