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AT&T ( T) pushed the Telecommunications industry lower today making it today's featured Telecommunications laggard. The industry as a whole closed the day up 1.1%. By the end of trading, AT&T fell $0.51 (-1.5%) to $33.32 on average volume. Throughout the day, 30,401,858 shares of AT&T exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 23,059,300 shares. The stock ranged in price between $33.24-$34.11 after having opened the day at $34.01 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $33.83. Other companies within the Telecommunications industry that declined today were: Alaska Communications Systems Group ( ALSK), down 7.5%, Parametric Sound ( PAMT), down 6.5%, Technical Communications ( TCCO), down 5.1% and Partner Communications Company ( PTNR), down 4.7%.

AT&T Inc. provides telecommunications services to consumers, businesses, and other providers in the United States and internationally. The company operates in three segments: Wireless, Wireline, and Other. AT&T has a market cap of $179.7 billion and is part of the technology sector. Currently there are 7 analysts that rate AT&T a buy, 2 analysts rate it a sell, and 17 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates AT&T as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, growth in earnings per share, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, expanding profit margins and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself.

On the positive front, Alcatel-Lucent ( ALU), up 10.8%, Alvarion ( ALVR), up 9.8%, Infinera Corporation ( INFN), up 9.4% and Zhone Technologies ( ZHNE), up 8.2% , were all gainers within the telecommunications industry with Nokia Oyj ( NOK) being today's featured telecommunications industry leader.

For investors not wanting singular stock exposure, ETFs may be of interest. Investors who are bullish on the telecommunications industry could consider iShares Dow Jones US Telecom ( IYZ) while those bearish on the telecommunications industry could consider ProShares Ult Sht Telecommunication ( TLL).

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