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Allstate ( ALL) pushed the Financial sector lower today making it today's featured Financial laggard. The sector as a whole closed the day up 0.1%. By the end of trading, Allstate fell $0.86 (-1.6%) to $51.29 on average volume. Throughout the day, 2,914,980 shares of Allstate exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3,277,300 shares. The stock ranged in price between $51.11-$51.83 after having opened the day at $51.65 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $52.15. Other companies within the Financial sector that declined today were: Meadowbrook Insurance Group ( MIG), down 10.6%, Village Bank and Trust Financial Corporatio ( VBFC), down 9.6%, Bank Bradesco ( BBDO), down 8.6% and CorEnergy Infrastructure ( CORR), down 8.4%.

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 $24.2 billion and is part of the insurance industry. Shares are up 29.8% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are 12 analysts that rate Allstate a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 9 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, increase in net income and attractive valuation levels. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins.

On the positive front, Alexander & Baldwin ( ALEX), up 76.9%, Altis Resident ( RESI), up 30.6%, Magyar Bancorp ( MGYR), up 19.0% and Vestin Realty Mortgage II ( VRTB), up 16.0% , were all gainers within the financial sector with Omega Healthcare Investors ( OHI) being today's featured financial sector leader.

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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