Blackstone Group LP (BX): Today's Featured Financial Services Winner

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Blackstone Group ( BX) pushed the Financial Services industry higher today making it today's featured financial services winner. The industry as a whole closed the day up 0.1%. By the end of trading, Blackstone Group rose $0.29 (1.3%) to $22.28 on light volume. Throughout the day, 2,582,985 shares of Blackstone Group exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 4,688,600 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $21.96-$22.38 after having opened the day at $22.16 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $21.99. Other companies within the Financial Services industry that increased today were: Palmetto ( PLMT), up 6.4%, Paulson Capital ( PLCC), up 6.2%, GAMCO Investors ( GBL), up 4.9% and E*Trade Financial ( ETFC), up 4.6%.

The Blackstone Group L.P. is a publicly owned investment manager. The firm also provides financial advisory services to its clients. It provides its services to public and corporate pension funds, academic, cultural, and charitable organizations. Blackstone Group has a market cap of $12.5 billion and is part of the financial sector. Shares are up 41.1% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 7 analysts that rate Blackstone Group a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 2 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Blackstone 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 good cash flow from operations. Although no company is perfect, currently we do not see any significant weaknesses which are likely to detract from the generally positive outlook.

On the negative front, Investors Capital Holdings ( ICH), down 7.0%, First Marblehead Corporation ( FMD), down 5.0%, Millennium India Acquisition Corporation ( SMCG), down 3.4% and Noah Holdings ( NOAH), down 3.1% , were all laggards within the financial services industry with Invesco ( IVZ) being today's financial services industry laggard.

For investors not wanting singular stock exposure, ETFs may be of interest. Investors who are bullish on the financial services industry could consider Financial Select Sector SPDR ( XLF) while those bearish on the financial services industry could consider Proshares Short Financials ( SEF).

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