PRU, USB, MET, AIG And WFC, Pushing Financial Sector Downward

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 sector currently sits down 0.2% versus the S&P 500, which is down 0.5%. On the negative front, top decliners within the sector include Rayonier ( RYN), down 3.3%, HDFC Bank ( HDB), down 3.2%, KKR ( KKR), down 2.8%, Woori Finance Holdings ( WF), down 2.6% and Nomura Holdings ( NMR), down 1.9%. Top gainers within the sector include Visa ( V), up 1.9%, Annaly Capital Management ( NLY), up 1.8%, Boston Properties ( BXP), up 1.0%, Host Hotels & Resorts ( HST), up 0.8% and Blackstone Group ( BX), up 0.6%.

TheStreet would like to highlight 5 stocks pushing the sector lower today:

5. Prudential Financial ( PRU) is one of the companies pushing the Financial sector lower today. As of noon trading, Prudential Financial is down $0.94 (-1.1%) to $87.74 on light volume. Thus far, 514,509 shares of Prudential Financial exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2.2 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $87.65-$88.78 after having opened the day at $88.68 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $88.68.

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 $40.7 billion and is part of the insurance industry. Shares are up 66.3% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday. 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.

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12-months. Learn more.

4. As of noon trading, U.S. Bancorp ( USB) is down $0.26 (-0.7%) to $39.12 on light volume. Thus far, 1.8 million shares of U.S. Bancorp exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 8.0 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $39.08-$39.34 after having opened the day at $39.33 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $39.38.

U.S. Bancorp, a financial services holding company, provides a range of financial services in the United States. Its services include lending and depository services, cash management, capital market, and trust and investment management services. U.S. Bancorp has a market cap of $71.3 billion and is part of the banking industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 13.2, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 23.3% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are 10 analysts that rate U.S. Bancorp a buy, 2 analysts rate it a sell, and 11 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates U.S. Bancorp as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its increase in stock price during the past year, good cash flow from operations, growth in earnings per share, expanding profit margins 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 U.S. Bancorp Ratings Report now.

STOCKS TO BUY: 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, MetLife ( MET) is down $0.63 (-1.2%) to $50.68 on light volume. Thus far, 1.6 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 $50.60-$51.38 after having opened the day at $51.35 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $51.31.

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 $57.4 billion and is part of the insurance industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 23.2, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 55.8% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are 14 analysts that rate MetLife a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 2 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.

STOCKS TO BUY: 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, American International Group ( AIG) is down $0.78 (-1.6%) to $49.50 on average volume. Thus far, 6.6 million shares of American International Group exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 9.8 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $49.34-$50.10 after having opened the day at $50.03 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $50.28.

American International Group, Inc. provides insurance products and services for the commercial, institutional, and individual customers in the United States and internationally. The company operates in two segments: AIG Property Casualty, and AIG Life and Retirement. American International Group has a market cap of $73.2 billion and is part of the insurance industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 9.7, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 40.9% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are 8 analysts that rate American International Group a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 9 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates American International Group as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, good cash flow from operations and growth in earnings per share. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including disappointing return on equity and poor profit margins. Get the full American International Group Ratings Report now.

STOCKS TO BUY: 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, Wells Fargo ( WFC) is down $0.38 (-0.9%) to $43.60 on light volume. Thus far, 4.5 million shares of Wells Fargo exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 17.8 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $43.49-$43.82 after having opened the day at $43.82 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $43.98.

Wells Fargo & Company provides retail, commercial, and corporate banking services. Wells Fargo has a market cap of $230.4 billion and is part of the banking industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 11.5, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 28.7% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are 10 analysts that rate Wells Fargo a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 12 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Wells Fargo as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, growth in earnings per share, expanding profit margins, good cash flow from operations and notable return on equity. Although the company may harbor some minor weaknesses, we feel they are unlikely to have a significant impact on results. Get the full Wells Fargo Ratings Report now.

STOCKS TO BUY: 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 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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