4 Financial Stocks Pushing The 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.

Two out of the three major indices are trading lower today with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) trading down 18 points (-0.1%) at 15,776 as of Monday, Feb. 10, 2014, 11:55 AM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,409 issues advancing vs. 1,532 declining with 144 unchanged.

The Financial sector currently sits down 0.1% versus the S&P 500, which is down 0.1%. Top gainers within the sector include CNA Financial ( CNA), up 6.0%, Invesco ( IVZ), up 4.1%, Franklin Resources ( BEN), up 1.5%, American Express ( AXP), up 1.5% and AvalonBay Communities ( AVB), up 0.8%. On the negative front, top decliners within the sector include Mercury General Corporation ( MCY), down 5.5%, Loews Corporation ( L), down 4.0%, Shinhan Financial Group ( SHG), down 3.6%, KB Financial Group ( KB), down 2.7% and Ocwen Financial Corporation ( OCN), down 2.6%.

TheStreet would like to highlight 4 stocks pushing the sector higher today:

4. Lloyds Banking Group ( LYG) is one of the companies pushing the Financial sector higher today. As of noon trading, Lloyds Banking Group is up $0.03 (0.6%) to $5.50 on light volume. Thus far, 701,440 shares of Lloyds Banking Group exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3.4 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $5.45-$5.50 after having opened the day at $5.45 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $5.47.

Lloyds Banking Group plc provides banking and financial services to personal, commercial, and corporate customers in the United Kingdom and internationally. The company operates in four divisions: Retail; Commercial Banking; Wealth, Asset Finance, and International; and Insurance. Lloyds Banking Group has a market cap of $97.8 billion and is part of the banking industry. Shares are up 2.8% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there is 1 analyst who rates Lloyds Banking Group a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 1 rates it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Lloyds Banking Group as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, expanding profit margins and notable return on equity. However, as a counter to these strengths, we find that the growth in the company's net income has been quite unimpressive. Get the full Lloyds Banking Group Ratings Report now.

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3. As of noon trading, LPL Financial Holdings ( LPLA) is up $1.39 (2.7%) to $53.30 on heavy volume. Thus far, 742,672 shares of LPL Financial Holdings exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 812,800 shares. The stock has ranged in price between $52.00-$53.92 after having opened the day at $52.00 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $51.91.

LPL Financial Holdings Inc. provides an integrated platform of brokerage and investment advisory services to independent financial advisors and financial advisors at financial institutions in the United States. LPL Financial Holdings has a market cap of $5.2 billion and is part of the financial services industry. Shares are up 10.3% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are 4 analysts who rate LPL Financial Holdings a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 4 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates LPL Financial Holdings as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, notable return on equity, good cash flow from operations, solid stock price performance and impressive record of earnings per share growth. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins. Get the full LPL Financial Holdings 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, KKR ( KKR) is up $0.62 (2.6%) to $24.79 on average volume. Thus far, 1.1 million shares of KKR exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2.3 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $24.02-$24.82 after having opened the day at $24.25 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $24.17.

Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. is a private equity investment firm specializing in acquisitions, leveraged buyouts, management buyouts, special situations, growth equity, mature, and middle market investments. KKR has a market cap of $6.9 billion and is part of the financial services industry. Shares are down 1.9% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are 10 analysts who rate KKR a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 2 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates KKR 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 and compelling growth in net income. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins. Get the full KKR 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, Travelers Companies ( TRV) is up $0.81 (1.0%) to $81.69 on average volume. Thus far, 1.6 million shares of Travelers Companies exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2.3 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $80.65-$81.70 after having opened the day at $81.33 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $80.88.

The Travelers Companies, Inc., through its subsidiaries, provides various commercial and personal property and casualty insurance products and services to businesses, government units, associations, and individuals primarily in the United States. Travelers Companies has a market cap of $29.4 billion and is part of the insurance industry. Shares are down 10.7% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are 9 analysts who rate Travelers Companies a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 12 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Travelers Companies 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, notable return on equity, expanding profit margins and good cash flow from operations. Although the company may harbor some minor weaknesses, we feel they are unlikely to have a significant impact on results. Get the full Travelers Companies 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 4 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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