American Express Co (AXP): Today's Featured Financial Services Laggard

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.

American Express ( AXP) pushed the Financial Services industry lower today making it today's featured Financial Services laggard. The industry as a whole closed the day down 1.2%. By the end of trading, American Express fell $2.22 (-2.5%) to $86.95 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 6,289,337 shares of American Express exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3,712,500 shares. The stock ranged in price between $86.66-$89.37 after having opened the day at $88.56 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $89.17. Other companies within the Financial Services industry that declined today were: Direxion India Bull 3X Shares ( INDL), down 10.7%, Noah Holdings ( NOAH), down 10.2%, Financial Engines ( FNGN), down 9.2% and Credit Suisse ( XIV), down 9.0%.

American Express Company provides charge and credit payment card products and travel-related services to customers worldwide. American Express has a market cap of $97.6 billion and is part of the financial sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 18.6, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 1.7% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 10 analysts that rate American Express a buy, 2 analysts rate it a sell, and 10 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 impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income, revenue growth, notable return on equity and solid stock price performance. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had generally high debt management risk by most measures that we evaluated.

On the positive front, C-Tracks Citi Volatility Index TR ETN ( CVOL), up 17.3%, Barclays Short B Leveraged Inverse S&P 500 ( BXDB), up 16.7%, Credit Suisse ( TVIX), up 16.6% and iPath Dow Jones-UBS Natural Gas Total Retur ( GAZ), up 10.2% , were all gainers within the financial services industry with Discover Financial Services ( DFS) being today's featured financial services industry leader.

For investors not wanting singular stock exposure, 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).

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12-months. Learn more.

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