5 Financial Stocks Pushing Sector Growth

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 up today with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) trading up 64 points (0.4%) at 16,322 as of Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2014, 11:55 AM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 2,125 issues advancing vs. 788 declining with 156 unchanged.

The Financial sector currently sits up 0.4% versus the S&P 500, which is up 0.7%. Top gainers within the sector include Lloyds Banking Group ( LYG), up 2.9%, Lazard ( LAZ), up 2.7%, ING Groep N.V ( ING), up 2.3%, Kimco Realty ( KIM), up 2.1% and Deutsche Bank ( DB), up 2.0%. On the negative front, top decliners within the sector include Shinhan Financial Group ( SHG), down 1.3%, Health Care REIT ( HCN), down 1.1%, Banco De Chile ( BCH), down 1.1%, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce ( CM), down 0.8% and Bank of Montreal ( BMO), down 0.8%.

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

5. Regions Financial Corporation ( RF) is one of the companies pushing the Financial sector higher today. As of noon trading, Regions Financial Corporation is up $0.12 (1.1%) to $10.42 on average volume. Thus far, 8.6 million shares of Regions Financial Corporation exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 15.6 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $10.29-$10.49 after having opened the day at $10.43 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $10.31.

Regions Financial Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, provides banking and bank-related services to individual and corporate customers in the United States. The company operates in three segments: Business Services, Consumer Services, and Wealth Management. Regions Financial Corporation has a market cap of $14.4 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 up 4.2% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are 7 analysts who rate Regions Financial Corporation a buy, 2 analysts rate it a sell, and 9 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Regions Financial Corporation as a buy. 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. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income. Get the full Regions 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.

4. As of noon trading, Travelers Companies ( TRV) is up $1.28 (1.5%) to $87.62 on average volume. Thus far, 927,457 shares of Travelers Companies exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1.9 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $86.80-$87.70 after having opened the day at $86.80 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $86.34.

The Travelers Companies, Inc., through its subsidiaries, provides various commercial and personal property and casualty insurance products and services to businesses, government units, associations, and individuals primarily in the United States. Travelers Companies has a market cap of $31.9 billion and is part of the insurance industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 11.2, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 4.6% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are 8 analysts who rate Travelers Companies a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 12 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Travelers Companies 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, good cash flow from operations, growth in earnings per share, notable return on equity and increase in stock price during the past year. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income. Get the full Travelers 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.

3. As of noon trading, MetLife ( MET) is up $0.26 (0.5%) to $53.23 on light volume. Thus far, 1.7 million shares of MetLife exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 5.6 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $52.88-$53.75 after having opened the day at $53.53 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $52.97.

MetLife, Inc., through its subsidiaries, provides insurance, annuities, and employee benefit programs in the United States, Japan, Latin America, the Middle East, Asia, and Europe. MetLife has a market cap of $60.6 billion and is part of the insurance industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 24.5, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 1.8% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are 14 analysts who rate MetLife a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 2 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates MetLife as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its compelling growth in net income, solid stock price performance, impressive record of earnings per share growth, 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 shows weak operating cash flow. Get the full MetLife 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, American International Group ( AIG) is up $0.28 (0.5%) to $51.74 on light volume. Thus far, 2.1 million shares of American International Group exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 9.9 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $51.33-$51.84 after having opened the day at $51.66 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $51.46.

American International Group, Inc. provides insurance products and services for the commercial, institutional, and individual customers in the United States and internationally. The company operates in two segments: AIG Property Casualty, and AIG Life and Retirement. American International Group has a market cap of $76.9 billion and is part of the insurance industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 10.2, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 0.8% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are 8 analysts who rate American International Group a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 9 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates American International Group as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, good cash flow from operations and growth in earnings per share. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including disappointing return on equity and poor profit margins. Get the full American International 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, Bank of America Corporation ( BAC) is up $0.17 (1.0%) to $16.60 on average volume. Thus far, 36.4 million shares of Bank of America Corporation exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 93.9 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $16.53-$16.72 after having opened the day at $16.54 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $16.43.

Bank of America Corporation, through its subsidiaries, provides various banking and financial products and services for individual consumers, small and middle market businesses, institutional investors, corporations, and governments in the United States and internationally. Bank of America Corporation has a market cap of $178.9 billion and is part of the banking industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 25.8, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 5.5% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are 7 analysts who rate Bank of America Corporation a buy, 2 analysts rate it a sell, and 12 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Bank of America Corporation as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, compelling growth in net income, revenue growth, attractive valuation levels and expanding profit margins. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had generally high debt management risk by most measures that we evaluated. Get the full Bank of America 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.

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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