American Express Co (AXP): Today's Featured Financial Services Winner

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.

American Express ( AXP) pushed the Financial Services industry higher today making it today's featured financial services winner. The industry as a whole closed the day up 0.5%. By the end of trading, American Express rose $1.16 (1.3%) to $87.57 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 6,079,497 shares of American Express exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3,692,800 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $86.44-$87.78 after having opened the day at $86.71 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $86.41. Other companies within the Financial Services industry that increased today were: China Fund ( CHN), up 15.7%, Value Line ( VALU), up 12.1%, Cash Store Financial Services ( CSFS), up 10.5% and Direxion India Bull 3X Shares ( INDL), up 9.9%.

American Express Company provides charge and credit payment card products and travel-related services to customers worldwide. American Express has a market cap of $92.1 billion and is part of the financial sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 20.2, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 50.3% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 8 analysts that rate American Express a buy, 2 analysts rate it a sell, and 12 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates American Express 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, increase in net income and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had generally high debt management risk by most measures that we evaluated.

On the negative front, Marine Petroleum ( MARPS), down 8.5%, Altisource Asset Management Corporation ( AAMC), down 6.3%, Barclays Short B Leveraged Inverse S&P 500 ( BXDB), down 5.9% and PowerShares DB German Bund Futures Exchange ( BUNL), down 5.8%.

For investors not wanting singular stock exposure, 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).

3x UPSIDE POTENTIAL: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12-months. Learn more.

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