3 Stocks Moving The Financial Services Industry Upward

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 3 points (0.0%) at 16,165 as of Thursday, Dec. 19, 2013, 11:55 AM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,090 issues advancing vs. 1,843 declining with 148 unchanged.

The Financial Services industry currently sits down 0.2% versus the S&P 500, which is down 0.2%. A company within the industry that increased today was TD Ameritrade Holding Corporation ( AMTD), up 0.9%. On the negative front, top decliners within the industry include Nomura Holdings ( NMR), down 2.1%, American Capital ( ACAS), down 1.7%, KKR ( KKR), down 1.6%, Western Union Company ( WU), down 1.0% and Discover Financial Services ( DFS), down 0.9%.

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

3. Lazard ( LAZ) is one of the companies pushing the Financial Services industry higher today. As of noon trading, Lazard is up $0.49 (1.1%) to $43.98 on light volume. Thus far, 56,112 shares of Lazard exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 504,900 shares. The stock has ranged in price between $43.37-$43.99 after having opened the day at $43.51 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $43.49.

Lazard Ltd., together with its subsidiaries, operates as a financial advisory and asset management firm. Lazard has a market cap of $5.2 billion and is part of the financial sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 56.6, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 45.7% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 3 analysts that rate Lazard a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 4 rate it a hold.

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

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2. As of noon trading, Total System Services ( TSS) is up $0.42 (1.3%) to $32.88 on average volume. Thus far, 670,748 shares of Total System Services exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1.2 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $32.23-$32.92 after having opened the day at $32.36 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $32.46.

Total System Services, Inc. provides payment processing and other services to card-issuing and merchant acquiring institutions in the United States and internationally. It operates through three segments: North America Services, International Services, and Merchant Services. Total System Services has a market cap of $6.0 billion and is part of the financial sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 25.0, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 51.5% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 8 analysts that rate Total System Services a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 9 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Total System Services as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, growth in earnings per share, good cash flow from operations, expanding profit margins and solid stock price performance. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat disappointing return on equity. Get the full Total System Services 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, MasterCard Incorporated ( MA) is up $6.20 (0.8%) to $808.26 on average volume. Thus far, 360,324 shares of MasterCard Incorporated exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 551,300 shares. The stock has ranged in price between $799.03-$808.49 after having opened the day at $801.28 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $802.06.

MasterCard Incorporated, together with its subsidiaries, provides transaction processing and other payment-related services in the United States and internationally. MasterCard Incorporated has a market cap of $92.4 billion and is part of the financial sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 31.5, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 63.3% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 17 analysts that rate MasterCard Incorporated a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 9 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates MasterCard Incorporated as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, impressive record of earnings per share growth, increase in net income, expanding profit margins and good cash flow from operations. 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 MasterCard Incorporated 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 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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