3 Stocks Dragging The Insurance Industry Downward

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Two out of the three major indices are trading lower today with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) trading down 79 points (-0.5%) at 15,419 as of Friday, Aug. 9, 2013, 12:50 PM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,348 issues advancing vs. 1,561 declining with 117 unchanged.

The Insurance industry currently sits down 0.2% versus the S&P 500, which is down 0.2%. A company within the industry that fell today was Berkshire Hathaway ( BRK.B), up 0.7%.

TheStreet would like to highlight 3 stocks pushing the industry lower today:

3. Manulife Financial Corporation ( MFC) is one of the companies pushing the Insurance industry lower today. As of noon trading, Manulife Financial Corporation is down $0.09 (-0.5%) to $17.13 on average volume. Thus far, 1.3 million shares of Manulife Financial Corporation exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2.0 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $16.98-$17.28 after having opened the day at $17.15 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $17.22.

Manulife Financial Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, provides financial protection and wealth management products and services to individual, corporate, and business customers primarily in Asia, Canada, and the United States. Manulife Financial Corporation has a market cap of $31.8 billion and is part of the financial sector. Shares are up 27.4% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 7 analysts that rate Manulife Financial Corporation a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 3 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Manulife Financial Corporation 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, reasonable 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. Get the full Manulife Financial Corporation Ratings Report now.

STOCKS TO BUY: 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, Berkshire Hathaway ( BRK.A) is down $1,411.99 (-0.8%) to $175,139.01 on light volume. Thus far, 133 shares of Berkshire Hathaway exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 500 shares. The stock has ranged in price between $174,865.00-$176,500.00 after having opened the day at $176,200.00 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $176,551.00.

Berkshire Hathaway, Inc. is a publicly owned investment manager. Through its subsidiaries, the firm primarily engages in the insurance and reinsurance of property and casualty risks business. Berkshire Hathaway was founded in 1889 and is based in Omaha, Nebraska. Berkshire Hathaway has a market cap of $152.2 billion and is part of the financial sector. Shares are up 31.7% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Berkshire Hathaway as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, good cash flow from operations, compelling growth in net income, notable return on equity and solid stock price performance. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company is trading at a premium valuation based on our review of its current price compared to such things as earnings and book value. Get the full Berkshire Hathaway Ratings Report now.

STOCKS TO BUY: 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, Aflac ( AFL) is down $0.42 (-0.7%) to $61.49 on light volume. Thus far, 534,857 shares of Aflac exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2.6 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $61.24-$62.03 after having opened the day at $61.80 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $61.91.

Aflac Incorporated, through its subsidiary, American Family Life Assurance Company of Columbus, provides supplemental health and life insurance products. Aflac has a market cap of $28.5 billion and is part of the financial sector. Shares are up 16.5% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 8 analysts that rate Aflac a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 10 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Aflac 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, compelling growth in net income and attractive valuation levels. 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 Aflac Ratings Report now.

STOCKS TO BUY: 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 3 stocks, ETFs may be of interest. Investors who are bullish on the insurance industry could consider KBW Insurance ETF ( KIE) while those bearish on the insurance industry could consider Proshares Short Financials ( SEF).

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