4 Financial Services Stocks Driving The Industry Higher

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.

All three major indices are trading down today with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) trading down 27 points (-0.2%) at 15,858 as of Tuesday, Dec. 17, 2013, 11:55 AM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 997 issues advancing vs. 1,953 declining with 153 unchanged.

The Financial Services industry currently sits down 0.2% versus the S&P 500, which is down 0.5%. On the negative front, top decliners within the industry include KKR ( KKR), down 2.8%, Financial Engines ( FNGN), down 2.6%, Nomura Holdings ( NMR), down 1.9%, Equifax ( EFX), down 1.7% and TD Ameritrade Holding Corporation ( AMTD), down 1.6%.

TheStreet would like to highlight 4 stocks pushing the industry higher today:

4. WisdomTree Investments ( WETF) is one of the companies pushing the Financial Services industry higher today. As of noon trading, WisdomTree Investments is up $0.57 (3.7%) to $16.04 on heavy volume. Thus far, 1.8 million shares of WisdomTree Investments exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1.6 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $15.40-$16.19 after having opened the day at $15.82 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $15.47.

WisdomTree Investments, Inc., through its subsidiaries, operates as an exchange-traded funds (ETFs) sponsor and asset manager. It offers ETFs in equities, currency, fixed income, and alternatives asset classes. WisdomTree Investments has a market cap of $2.0 billion and is part of the financial sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 52.2, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 152.8% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are 4 analysts that rate WisdomTree Investments a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 2 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates WisdomTree Investments as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, notable return on equity, expanding profit margins, good cash flow from operations and impressive record of earnings per share growth. 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 WisdomTree Investments 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.

3. As of noon trading, Legg Mason ( LM) is up $0.52 (1.2%) to $42.56 on average volume. Thus far, 679,575 shares of Legg Mason exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1.3 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $41.98-$42.73 after having opened the day at $42.10 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $42.04.

Legg Mason, Inc. is a publicly owned asset management holding company. The firm through its subsidiaries provides investment management and related services to institutional and individual clients, company-sponsored mutual funds and other pooled investment vehicles. Legg Mason, Inc. Legg Mason has a market cap of $5.0 billion and is part of the financial sector. Shares are up 60.9% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are 3 analysts that rate Legg Mason a buy, 2 analysts rate it a sell, and 6 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Legg Mason as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, solid stock price performance, growth in earnings per share and increase in net income. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat disappointing return on equity. Get the full Legg Mason 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, Blackstone Group ( BX) is up $0.18 (0.6%) to $29.42 on average volume. Thus far, 2.3 million shares of Blackstone Group exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 4.9 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $28.90-$29.75 after having opened the day at $29.25 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $29.24.

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 $16.4 billion and is part of the financial sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 25.7, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 87.6% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are 8 analysts that rate Blackstone Group a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 1 rates it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Blackstone Group as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income, good cash flow from operations, expanding profit margins and solid stock price performance. Although the company may harbor some minor weaknesses, we feel they are unlikely to have a significant impact on results. Get the full Blackstone Group 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, Visa ( V) is up $3.95 (1.9%) to $211.70 on average volume. Thus far, 2.0 million shares of Visa exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3.2 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $207.84-$211.93 after having opened the day at $208.62 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $207.75.

Visa Inc., a payments technology company, engages in the operation of retail electronic payments network worldwide. It facilitates commerce through the transfer of value and information among financial institutions, merchants, consumers, businesses, and government entities. Visa has a market cap of $105.0 billion and is part of the financial sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 27.3, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 37.1% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are 16 analysts that rate Visa a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 8 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Visa 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, expanding profit margins, good cash flow from operations and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income. Get the full Visa 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 4 stocks, 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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