5 Financial Stocks Moving The Sector Upward

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.

Two out of the three major indices are trading lower today with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) trading up 48 points (0.3%) at 16,465 as of Friday, Jan. 17, 2014, 11:55 AM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,451 issues advancing vs. 1,447 declining with 177 unchanged.

The Financial sector currently sits up 0.1% versus the S&P 500, which is down 0.1%. Top gainers within the sector include SunTrust Banks ( STI), up 3.8%, PNC Financial Services Group ( PNC), up 3.0%, Visa ( V), up 2.2%, Regions Financial Corporation ( RF), up 1.3% and Goldman Sachs Group ( GS), up 0.9%. On the negative front, top decliners within the sector include Capital One Financial ( COF), down 4.4%, Royal Bank of Scotland Group (The ( RBS), down 1.8%, Banco De Chile ( BCH), down 1.4%, Discover Financial Services ( DFS), down 1.2% and Credit Suisse Group ( CS), down 1.2%.

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

5. Equifax ( EFX) is one of the companies pushing the Financial sector higher today. As of noon trading, Equifax is up $1.73 (2.5%) to $70.85 on heavy volume. Thus far, 432,546 shares of Equifax exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 549,800 shares. The stock has ranged in price between $69.12-$70.99 after having opened the day at $69.47 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $69.12.

Equifax Inc. collects, organizes, and manages various financial, demographic, employment, and marketing information solutions for businesses and consumers. The company's U.S. Equifax has a market cap of $8.4 billion and is part of the financial services industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 27.8, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 0.0% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 5 analysts who rate Equifax a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 3 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Equifax as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, expanding profit margins, increase in stock price during the past year and growth in earnings per share. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat disappointing return on equity. Get the full Equifax Ratings Report now.

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4. As of noon trading, Fifth Third Bancorp ( FITB) is up $0.27 (1.3%) to $21.64 on average volume. Thus far, 3.1 million shares of Fifth Third Bancorp exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 6.9 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $21.41-$21.82 after having opened the day at $21.46 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $21.37.

Fifth Third Bancorp operates as a diversified financial services company in the United States. The company operates through four segments: Commercial Banking, Branch Banking, Consumer Lending, and Investment Advisors. Fifth Third Bancorp has a market cap of $19.0 billion and is part of the banking industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 10.7, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 1.6% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 7 analysts who rate Fifth Third Bancorp a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 11 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Fifth Third Bancorp 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, expanding profit margins, good cash flow from operations 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 Fifth Third Bancorp 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, BB&T ( BBT) is up $0.23 (0.6%) to $38.96 on average volume. Thus far, 1.8 million shares of BB&T exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 4.0 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $38.66-$39.12 after having opened the day at $39.04 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $38.73.

BB&T Corporation operates as a financial holding company that provides various banking and trust services for retail and commercial clients. BB&T has a market cap of $27.3 billion and is part of the banking industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 18.0, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 3.8% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 11 analysts who rate BB&T a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 12 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates BB&T as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its expanding profit margins, reasonable valuation levels 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 BB&T 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 Express ( AXP) is up $4.24 (4.8%) to $92.02 on heavy volume. Thus far, 8.4 million shares of American Express exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3.5 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $90.55-$93.62 after having opened the day at $91.83 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $87.78.

American Express Company provides charge and credit payment card products and travel-related services to customers worldwide. American Express has a market cap of $94.5 billion and is part of the financial services industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 20.8, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 3.2% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 9 analysts who rate American Express a buy, 2 analysts rate it a sell, and 11 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. Get the full American Express 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, Morgan Stanley ( MS) is up $1.35 (4.2%) to $33.35 on heavy volume. Thus far, 17.5 million shares of Morgan Stanley exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 10.9 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $32.60-$33.52 after having opened the day at $32.84 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $32.00.

Morgan Stanley, a financial holding company, provides various financial products and services to corporations, governments, financial institutions, and individuals worldwide. Morgan Stanley has a market cap of $62.9 billion and is part of the financial services industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 18.9, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 2.0% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 11 analysts who rate Morgan Stanley a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 9 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Morgan Stanley as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, solid stock price performance, compelling growth in net income, attractive valuation levels and impressive record of earnings per share growth. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow. Get the full Morgan Stanley 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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