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

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 higher today making it today's featured financial services winner. The industry as a whole closed the day up 0.7%. By the end of trading, American Express rose $1.31 (1.5%) to $87.00 on average volume. Throughout the day, 4,495,219 shares of American Express exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3,910,000 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $85.78-$87.17 after having opened the day at $85.96 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $85.69. Other companies within the Financial Services industry that increased today were: Cash Store Financial Services ( CSFS), up 12.4%, RCS Capital Corp Class A ( RCAP), up 9.5%, Direxion Daily Gold Miners Bull 3X Shares ( NUGT), up 9.1% and ProShares Ultra Nasdaq Biotechnology ( BIB), up 8.0%.

American Express Company provides charge and credit payment card products and travel-related services to customers worldwide. American Express has a market cap of $89.7 billion and is part of the financial sector. Shares are down 5.5% 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 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.

On the negative front, iPath GBP/USD Exchange Rate ETN ( GBB), down 14.1%, Credit Suisse ( TVIX), down 12.7%, C-Tracks Citi Volatility Index TR ETN ( CVOL), down 12.1% and Barclays Short B Leveraged Inverse S&P 500 ( BXDB), down 9.7% , were all laggards within the financial services industry with Affiliated Managers Group ( AMG) being today's financial services industry laggard.

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).

3x UPSIDE POTENTIAL: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12-months. Learn more.

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