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General Growth Properties ( GGP) pushed the Financial sector higher today making it today's featured financial winner. The sector as a whole closed the day up 0.2%. By the end of trading, General Growth Properties rose $0.22 (1.1%) to $20.83 on light volume. Throughout the day, 4,175,095 shares of General Growth Properties exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 7,061,700 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $20.61-$20.88 after having opened the day at $20.66 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $20.61. Other companies within the Financial sector that increased today were: American Realty Investors ( ARL), up 23.1%, River Valley Bancorp ( RIVR), up 22.8%, J.W. Mays ( MAYS), up 18.3% and US Global Investors ( GROW), up 16.3%.

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 $18.5 billion and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are up 2.7% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. 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, impressive record of earnings per share growth and expanding profit margins. However, as a counter to these strengths, we find that the stock has experienced relatively poor performance when compared with the S&P 500 during the past year.

On the negative front, Gaming and Leisure Properties ( GLPI), down 18.8%, Credit Suisse ( UGAZ), down 10.5%, Direxion Daily Gold Miners Bear 3X Shares ( DUST), down 9.5% and OptimumBank Holdings ( OPHC), down 9.5% , were all laggards within the financial sector with Allstate ( ALL) being today's financial sector laggard.

For investors not wanting singular stock exposure, 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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