4 Financial Services Stocks Pushing The Industry 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 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 Raymond James Financial ( RJF), up 0.9%. On the negative front, top decliners within the industry include Virtus Investment Partners ( VRTS), down 2.9%, MarketAxess Holdings ( MKTX), down 2.1%, Western Union Company ( WU), down 1.4%, Invesco ( IVZ), down 1.0% and Nomura Holdings ( NMR), down 0.8%.

TheStreet would like to highlight 4 stocks pushing the industry higher today:

4. LPL Financial Holdings ( LPLA) is one of the companies pushing the Financial Services industry higher today. As of noon trading, LPL Financial Holdings is up $0.46 (0.9%) to $49.40 on average volume. Thus far, 368,335 shares of LPL Financial Holdings exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 500,400 shares. The stock has ranged in price between $48.90-$49.93 after having opened the day at $49.57 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $48.94.

LPL Financial Holdings Inc. provides an integrated platform of brokerage and investment advisory services to independent financial advisors and financial advisors at financial institutions in the United States. LPL Financial Holdings has a market cap of $5.0 billion and is part of the financial sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 29.8, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 4.0% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 2 analysts that rate LPL Financial Holdings a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 5 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates LPL Financial Holdings 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, solid stock price performance and impressive record of earnings per share growth. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins. Get the full LPL Financial Holdings 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, Legg Mason ( LM) is up $0.38 (0.9%) to $44.12 on light volume. Thus far, 339,447 shares of Legg Mason exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1.3 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $43.97-$44.35 after having opened the day at $44.00 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $43.74.

Legg Mason, Inc. is a publicly owned asset management holding company. The firm through its subsidiaries provides investment management and related services to institutional and individual clients, company-sponsored mutual funds and other pooled investment vehicles. Legg Mason, Inc. Legg Mason has a market cap of $5.3 billion and is part of the financial sector. Shares are up 0.6% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 3 analysts that rate Legg Mason a buy, 2 analysts rate it a sell, and 6 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Legg Mason 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 and increase in net income. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat disappointing return on equity. Get the full Legg Mason 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, Principal Financial Group ( PFG) is up $0.26 (0.5%) to $49.39 on light volume. Thus far, 446,009 shares of Principal Financial Group exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1.3 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $49.19-$49.70 after having opened the day at $49.49 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $49.13.

Principal Financial Group, Inc. provides retirement savings, investment, and insurance products and services. It operates in four segments: Retirement and Investor Services, Principal Global Investors, Principal International, and U.S. Insurance Solutions. Principal Financial Group has a market cap of $14.4 billion and is part of the financial sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 17.0, below 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 2 analysts that rate Principal Financial Group a buy, 5 analysts rate it a sell, and 8 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Principal Financial Group 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, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, notable return on equity and attractive valuation levels. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow. Get the full Principal Financial 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.

1. As of noon trading, E*Trade Financial ( ETFC) is up $0.17 (0.8%) to $20.88 on average volume. Thus far, 1.2 million shares of E*Trade Financial exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3.0 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $20.81-$21.08 after having opened the day at $20.92 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $20.71.

E*TRADE Financial Corporation, a financial services company, provides online brokerage and related products and services primarily to individual retail investors under the E*TRADE Financial brand in the United States. E*Trade Financial has a market cap of $5.9 billion and is part of the financial sector. Shares are up 5.5% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there is 1 analyst that rates E*Trade Financial a buy, 2 analysts rate it a sell, and 4 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates E*Trade Financial as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, increase in net income and expanding profit margins. However, as a counter to these strengths, we find that the company's return on equity has been disappointing. Get the full E*Trade 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.

If you are interested in one of these 4 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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