3 Stocks Advancing The Insurance Industry

Editor's Note: Any reference to TheStreet Ratings and its underlying recommendation does not reflect the opinion of TheStreet, Inc. or any of its contributors including Jim Cramer or Stephanie Link.

Two out of the three major indices are trading lower today with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) trading down 22 points (-0.1%) at 16,065 as of Monday, Dec. 2, 2013, 11:45 AM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,030 issues advancing vs. 1,883 declining with 116 unchanged.

The Insurance industry currently sits up 0.1% versus the S&P 500, which is unchanged.

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

3. Aflac ( AFL) is one of the companies pushing the Insurance industry higher today. As of noon trading, Aflac is up $0.72 (1.1%) to $67.09 on light volume. Thus far, 612,807 shares of Aflac exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2.0 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $66.35-$67.23 after having opened the day at $66.36 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $66.37.

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 $31.0 billion and is part of the financial sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 10.1, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 24.9% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are 9 analysts that rate Aflac a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 9 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Aflac as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its notable return on equity, increase in stock price during the past year and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income. Get the full Aflac Ratings Report now.

3x UPSIDE POTENTIAL: 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, Prudential Financial ( PRU) is up $1.48 (1.7%) to $90.24 on light volume. Thus far, 761,790 shares of Prudential Financial exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2.1 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $88.70-$90.53 after having opened the day at $88.93 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $88.76.

Prudential Financial, Inc., through its subsidiaries, provides a range of insurance, investment management, and other financial products and services to both individual and institutional customers in the United States and internationally. Prudential Financial has a market cap of $41.2 billion and is part of the financial sector. Shares are up 66.4% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are 11 analysts that rate Prudential Financial a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 6 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Prudential Financial as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, increase in net income, expanding profit margins and growth in earnings per share. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had generally high debt management risk by most measures that we evaluated. Get the full Prudential Financial Ratings Report now.

3x UPSIDE POTENTIAL: 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, MetLife ( MET) is up $0.70 (1.3%) to $52.89 on light volume. Thus far, 1.7 million shares of MetLife exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 6.2 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $52.12-$53.08 after having opened the day at $52.42 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $52.19.

MetLife, Inc., through its subsidiaries, provides insurance, annuities, and employee benefit programs in the United States, Japan, Latin America, the Middle East, Asia, and Europe. MetLife has a market cap of $58.7 billion and is part of the financial sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 23.7, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 58.4% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are 13 analysts that rate MetLife a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 3 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates MetLife as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its compelling growth in net income, solid stock price performance, impressive record of earnings per share growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow. Get the full MetLife Ratings Report now.

3x UPSIDE POTENTIAL: 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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