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General Growth Properties ( GGP) pushed the Real Estate industry lower today making it today's featured Real Estate laggard. The industry as a whole closed the day down 0.3%. By the end of trading, General Growth Properties fell $0.23 (-1.1%) to $20.15 on light volume. Throughout the day, 4,243,029 shares of General Growth Properties exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 7,154,100 shares. The stock ranged in price between $20.08-$20.40 after having opened the day at $20.15 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $20.38. Other companies within the Real Estate industry that declined today were: Gaming and Leisure Properties ( GLPI), down 22.3%, Desarrolladora Homex SAB de CV ADR ( HXM), down 10.4%, Altisource Portfolio Solutions ( ASPS), down 4.7% and IFM Investments ( CTC), down 4.2%.

General Growth Properties, Inc is an equity real estate investment trust. The firm invests in the real estate markets of the United States. It engages in owning, managing, leasing, and redeveloping high-quality regional malls. General Growth Properties has a market cap of $18.6 billion and is part of the financial sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 136.2, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 1.5% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 7 analysts that rate General Growth Properties a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 6 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates General Growth Properties as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its compelling growth in net income, good cash flow from operations and impressive record of earnings per share growth. However, as a counter to these strengths, we find that the company's profit margins have been poor overall.

On the positive front, American Spectrum Realty ( AQQ), up 5.3%, Vestin Realty Mortgage I ( VRTA), up 5.3%, Power REIT ( PW), up 3.7% and CYS Investments ( CYS), up 3.1% , were all gainers within the real estate industry with American Capital Agency ( AGNC) being today's featured real estate industry leader.

For investors not wanting singular stock exposure, ETFs may be of interest. Investors who are bullish on the real estate industry could consider iShares Dow Jones US Real Estate ( IYR) while those bearish on the real estate industry could consider ProShares Short Real Estate Fund ( REK).

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