5 Stocks Pushing The Financial Sector 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 up today with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) trading up 153 points (1.0%) at 15,892 as of Thursday, Jan. 30, 2014, 11:55 AM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 2,359 issues advancing vs. 580 declining with 163 unchanged.

The Financial sector currently sits up 0.6% versus the S&P 500, which is up 1.0%. Top gainers within the sector include Corpbanca ( BCA), up 5.7%, Blackstone Group ( BX), up 5.5%, Duke Realty ( DRE), up 5.0%, Banco De Chile ( BCH), up 4.0% and AvalonBay Communities ( AVB), up 3.5%. A company within the sector that fell today was Bank of Montreal ( BMO), up 2.1%.

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

5. Fifth Third Bancorp ( FITB) is one of the companies pushing the Financial sector higher today. As of noon trading, Fifth Third Bancorp is up $0.29 (1.4%) to $21.24 on light volume. Thus far, 2.1 million shares of Fifth Third Bancorp exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 7.1 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $21.04-$21.24 after having opened the day at $21.09 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $20.95.

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 $18.8 billion and is part of the banking industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 10.6, 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 8 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, expanding profit margins, notable return on equity and increase in net income. Although the company may harbor some minor weaknesses, we feel they are unlikely to have a significant impact on results. Get the full Fifth Third Bancorp Ratings Report now.

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4. As of noon trading, PNC Financial Services Group ( PNC) is up $1.35 (1.7%) to $81.22 on light volume. Thus far, 564,429 shares of PNC Financial Services Group exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2.2 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $80.43-$81.34 after having opened the day at $80.90 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $79.87.

The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. operates as a diversified financial services company in the United States and internationally. The company's Retail Banking segment provides deposit, lending, brokerage, investment management, and cash management services. PNC Financial Services Group has a market cap of $43.2 billion and is part of the banking industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 11.0, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 3.0% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 10 analysts who rate PNC Financial Services Group a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 10 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates PNC Financial Services Group 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, expanding profit margins, impressive record of earnings per share growth and attractive valuation levels. 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 PNC Financial Services 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.

3. As of noon trading, BlackRock ( BLK) is up $5.86 (2.0%) to $305.07 on average volume. Thus far, 267,636 shares of BlackRock exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 620,500 shares. The stock has ranged in price between $301.43-$306.00 after having opened the day at $301.43 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $299.21.

BlackRock, Inc. is a publicly owned investment manager. The firm primarily provides its services to institutional, intermediary, and individual investors. BlackRock has a market cap of $50.7 billion and is part of the financial services industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 18.3, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 4.0% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 5 analysts who rate BlackRock a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 8 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates BlackRock as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, solid stock price performance, impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income and expanding profit margins. Although the company may harbor some minor weaknesses, we feel they are unlikely to have a significant impact on results. Get the full BlackRock 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, IntercontinentalExchange Group ( ICE) is up $2.69 (1.3%) to $207.47 on light volume. Thus far, 210,711 shares of IntercontinentalExchange Group exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 987,300 shares. The stock has ranged in price between $201.01-$208.68 after having opened the day at $201.01 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $204.78.

IntercontinentalExchange Group, Inc., through its subsidiaries, operates a network of regulated exchanges and clearing houses for financial and commodity markets primarily in the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Europe, and Brazil. IntercontinentalExchange Group has a market cap of $23.8 billion and is part of the financial services industry. Currently there are 11 analysts who rate IntercontinentalExchange Group a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and none rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates IntercontinentalExchange Group as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, growth in earnings per share, revenue growth, reasonable valuation levels and expanding profit margins. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow. Get the full IntercontinentalExchange 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, American Express ( AXP) is up $0.75 (0.9%) to $86.30 on light volume. Thus far, 1.3 million shares of American Express exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3.8 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $86.07-$86.89 after having opened the day at $86.45 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $85.55.

American Express Company provides charge and credit payment card products and travel-related services to customers worldwide. American Express has a market cap of $92.8 billion and is part of the financial services industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 17.6, equal to the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 5.7% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 10 analysts who 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 revenue growth, notable return on equity, impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income 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. 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.

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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