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Allstate ( ALL) pushed the Financial sector higher today making it today's featured financial winner. The sector as a whole was unchanged today. By the end of trading, Allstate rose $0.67 (1.4%) to $50.11 on average volume. Throughout the day, 3,117,320 shares of Allstate exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2,817,200 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $49.36-$50.19 after having opened the day at $49.39 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $49.44. Other companies within the Financial sector that increased today were: Manhattan Bridge Capital ( LOAN), up 17.2%, Broadway Financial ( BYFC), up 10.5%, Optibase ( OBAS), up 9.3% and Donegal Group ( DGICB), up 8.2%.

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 $22.8 billion and is part of the insurance industry. Shares are up 23.1% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 11 analysts that rate Allstate a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 10 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, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, solid stock price performance, growth in earnings per share and increase in net income. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow.

On the negative front, Doral Financial ( DRL), down 6.2%, Atlantic Coast Financial ( ACFC), down 6.2%, ZipRealty ( ZIPR), down 5.7% and First Financial Service Corporation ( FFKY), down 5.4% , were all laggards within the financial sector with Credicorp ( BAP) being today's financial sector laggard.

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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