5 Stocks Driving The Financial 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.

All three major indices are trading down today with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) trading down 54 points (-0.3%) at 16,409 as of Thursday, Jan. 9, 2014, 11:55 AM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,224 issues advancing vs. 1,713 declining with 144 unchanged.

The Financial sector currently sits down 0.2% versus the S&P 500, which is down 0.2%. Top gainers within the sector include eHealth ( EHTH), up 18.0%, Commerce ( CBSH), up 2.3%, SunTrust Banks ( STI), up 1.5%, Aon plc ( AON), up 1.4% and Genworth Financial ( GNW), up 1.3%. On the negative front, top decliners within the sector include Credicorp ( BAP), down 1.8%, Banco Santander Chile ( BSAC), down 1.6%, HDFC Bank ( HDB), down 1.6%, Western Union Company ( WU), down 1.4% and American Express ( AXP), down 1.3%.

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

5. Arch Capital Group ( ACGL) is one of the companies pushing the Financial sector higher today. As of noon trading, Arch Capital Group is up $0.72 (1.3%) to $56.15 on average volume. Thus far, 222,430 shares of Arch Capital Group exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 348,600 shares. The stock has ranged in price between $55.48-$56.18 after having opened the day at $55.64 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $55.43.

Arch Capital Group Ltd., through its subsidiaries, provides insurance and reinsurance solutions worldwide. It operates in two segments, Insurance and Reinsurance. Arch Capital Group has a market cap of $7.4 billion and is part of the insurance industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 13.9, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 7.1% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 2 analysts that rate Arch Capital Group a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 11 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Arch Capital Group as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and solid stock price performance. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income. Get the full Arch Capital Group 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, Lloyds Banking Group ( LYG) is up $0.07 (1.2%) to $5.68 on average volume. Thus far, 2.3 million shares of Lloyds Banking Group exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 4.5 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $5.66-$5.70 after having opened the day at $5.68 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $5.61.

Lloyds Banking Group plc provides banking and financial services to personal, commercial, and corporate customers in the United Kingdom and internationally. The company operates in four divisions: Retail; Commercial Banking; Wealth, Asset Finance, and International; and Insurance. Lloyds Banking Group has a market cap of $97.2 billion and is part of the banking industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 11.9, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 5.6% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there is 1 analyst that rates Lloyds Banking Group a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 1 rates it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Lloyds Banking Group as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, expanding profit margins and notable return on equity. However, as a counter to these strengths, we find that the growth in the company's net income has been quite unimpressive. Get the full Lloyds Banking Group 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, Manulife Financial Corporation ( MFC) is up $0.32 (1.6%) to $20.08 on heavy volume. Thus far, 2.0 million shares of Manulife Financial Corporation exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1.8 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $19.79-$20.09 after having opened the day at $19.80 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $19.76.

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 $35.7 billion and is part of the insurance 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 0.1% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. 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.

2. As of noon trading, Marsh & McLennan Companies ( MMC) is up $0.26 (0.5%) to $48.41 on light volume. Thus far, 583,277 shares of Marsh & McLennan Companies exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1.9 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $48.20-$48.58 after having opened the day at $48.22 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $48.15.

Marsh & McLennan Companies, Inc., a professional services company, provides advice and solutions in the areas of risk, strategy, and human capital. It operates in two segments, Risk and Insurance Services, and Consulting. Marsh & McLennan Companies has a market cap of $26.3 billion and is part of the insurance industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 20.4, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 0.4% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 10 analysts that rate Marsh & McLennan Companies a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 6 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Marsh & McLennan Companies as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, notable return on equity, good cash flow from operations, growth in earnings per share and solid stock price performance. 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 Marsh & McLennan Companies 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, M&T Bank ( MTB) is up $0.80 (0.7%) to $116.60 on average volume. Thus far, 678,044 shares of M&T Bank exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 918,300 shares. The stock has ranged in price between $115.99-$116.71 after having opened the day at $116.38 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $115.80.

M&T Bank Corporation operates as the holding company for M&T Bank that provide commercial and retail banking services to individuals, corporations, and other businesses and institutions. M&T Bank has a market cap of $15.0 billion and is part of the banking industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 13.1, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 0.5% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 4 analysts that rate M&T Bank a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 11 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates M&T Bank as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, expanding profit margins, good cash flow from operations, increase in stock price during the past year and notable return on equity. Although no company is perfect, currently we do not see any significant weaknesses which are likely to detract from the generally positive outlook. Get the full M&T 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.

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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