5 Financial Stocks Nudging The Sector 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.

One out of the three major indices are trading lower today with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) trading up 22 points (0.1%) at 15,897 as of Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2013, 11:55 AM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,497 issues advancing vs. 1,411 declining with 169 unchanged.

The Financial sector currently sits up 0.2% versus the S&P 500, which is unchanged. Top gainers within the sector include HDFC Bank ( HDB), up 4.5%, Woori Finance Holdings ( WF), up 3.7%, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group ( MTU), up 2.5%, Shinhan Financial Group ( SHG), up 2.4% and Weyerhaeuser ( WY), up 1.8%. On the negative front, top decliners within the sector include E-House China Holdings ( EJ), down 4.8%, Icahn ( IEP), down 3.0%, KKR ( KKR), down 2.1%, American Capital Agency ( AGNC), down 1.8% and Annaly Capital Management ( NLY), down 1.0%.

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

5. Toronto-Dominion Bank ( TD) is one of the companies pushing the Financial sector higher today. As of noon trading, Toronto-Dominion Bank is up $0.57 (0.6%) to $90.88 on average volume. Thus far, 149,917 shares of Toronto-Dominion Bank exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 352,500 shares. The stock has ranged in price between $90.28-$91.06 after having opened the day at $90.30 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $90.31.

The Toronto-Dominion Bank, together with its subsidiaries, provides financial and banking services in North America and internationally. Toronto-Dominion Bank has a market cap of $83.0 billion and is part of the banking industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 13.6, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 7.1% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 3 analysts that rate Toronto-Dominion Bank a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 1 rates it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Toronto-Dominion Bank as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, good cash flow from operations, expanding profit margins, increase in stock price during the past year and growth in earnings per share. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat disappointing return on equity. Get the full Toronto-Dominion Bank 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.

4. As of noon trading, Manulife Financial Corporation ( MFC) is up $0.10 (0.5%) to $18.72 on light volume. Thus far, 426,004 shares of Manulife Financial Corporation exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1.7 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $18.60-$18.79 after having opened the day at $18.63 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $18.62.

Manulife Financial Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, provides financial protection and wealth management products and services to individual, corporate, and business customers primarily in Asia, Canada, and the United States. Manulife Financial Corporation has a market cap of $34.4 billion and is part of the insurance industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 13.1, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 37.0% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 6 analysts that rate Manulife Financial Corporation a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 1 rates it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Manulife Financial Corporation as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income, expanding profit margins and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow. Get the full Manulife Financial Corporation 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, UBS ( UBS) is up $0.10 (0.6%) to $18.36 on light volume. Thus far, 674,817 shares of UBS exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2.4 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $18.34-$18.43 after having opened the day at $18.39 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $18.26.

UBS AG, a financial services firm, provides wealth management, asset management, and investment banking products and services worldwide. Its Wealth Management division provides financial services to high net worth individuals worldwide. UBS has a market cap of $70.6 billion and is part of the banking industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 17.0, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 16.8% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there is 1 analyst that rates UBS a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 1 rates it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates UBS as a sell. Among the areas we feel are negative, one of the most important has been poor profit margins. Get the full UBS 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, Fidelity National Financial ( FNF) is up $0.42 (1.4%) to $30.81 on average volume. Thus far, 1.8 million shares of Fidelity National Financial exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3.3 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $30.44-$30.99 after having opened the day at $30.46 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $30.39.

Fidelity National Financial, Inc. provides title insurance, mortgage services, and diversified services in the United States. Fidelity National Financial has a market cap of $7.4 billion and is part of the insurance industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 14.1, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 27.7% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 2 analysts that rate Fidelity National Financial a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 1 rates it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Fidelity National Financial as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, solid stock price performance 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 Fidelity National 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, Aon plc ( AON) is up $0.57 (0.7%) to $82.39 on light volume. Thus far, 477,486 shares of Aon plc exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1.8 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $81.74-$82.46 after having opened the day at $82.00 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $81.82.

Aon plc provides risk management services, insurance and reinsurance brokerage, and human resource consulting and outsourcing services worldwide. Aon plc has a market cap of $24.6 billion and is part of the insurance industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 24.6, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 47.1% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 3 analysts that rate Aon plc a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 11 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Aon plc as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, notable return on equity, impressive record of earnings per share growth, solid stock price performance and increase in net income. 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 Aon plc 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 5 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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