Discover Financial Services (DFS): Today's Featured Financial Services Laggard

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.

Discover Financial Services ( DFS) pushed the Financial Services industry lower today making it today's featured Financial Services laggard. The industry as a whole closed the day down 0.1%. By the end of trading, Discover Financial Services fell $0.71 (-1.3%) to $54.36 on light volume. Throughout the day, 2,054,911 shares of Discover Financial Services exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2,945,200 shares. The stock ranged in price between $54.35-$55.48 after having opened the day at $55.12 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $55.07. Other companies within the Financial Services industry that declined today were: ELEMENTS MLCX Biofuels Index Total Return E ( FUE), down 7.9%, db X-trackers In-Target Date Fund ( TDX), down 6.9%, WisdomTree Global Real Return Fund ( RRF), down 6.0% and Gabelli Multimedia ( GGT), down 5.9%.

Discover Financial Services, a bank holding company, provides direct banking and payment services in the United States. It operates in two segments, Direct Banking and Payment Services. Discover Financial Services has a market cap of $26.4 billion and is part of the financial sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 12.4, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 1.6% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are 14 analysts that rate Discover Financial Services a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 6 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Discover Financial Services as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, solid stock price performance, expanding profit margins, 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 has had sub par growth in net income.

On the positive front, Marine Petroleum ( MARPS), up 14.2%, PowerShares DB 3x Long 25+ Year Treasury Bo ( LBND), up 5.9%, Direxion Daily FTSE China Bear 3X Shares ( YANG), up 5.0% and PowerShares DB Commodity Double Long ETN ( DYY), up 5.0%.

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).

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

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