3 Stocks Advancing The Financial Sector

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 30 points (0.2%) at 15,994 as of Thursday, Feb. 13, 2014, 11:55 AM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,823 issues advancing vs. 1,044 declining with 196 unchanged.

The Financial sector currently sits up 0.1% versus the S&P 500, which is up 0.2%. Top gainers within the sector include Stewart Information Services ( STC), up 14.2%, American Campus Communities ( ACC), up 6.6%, W. P. Carey ( WPC), up 2.7%, Digital Realty ( DLR), up 1.9% and General Growth Properties ( GGP), up 1.5%. On the negative front, top decliners within the sector include Lloyds Banking Group ( LYG), down 2.3%, HDFC Bank ( HDB), down 2.1%, KB Financial Group ( KB), down 1.7%, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group ( MTU), down 1.7% and Shinhan Financial Group ( SHG), down 1.6%.

TheStreet would like to highlight 3 stocks pushing the sector higher today:

3. Regency Centers Corporation ( REG) is one of the companies pushing the Financial sector higher today. As of noon trading, Regency Centers Corporation is up $1.21 (2.4%) to $50.85 on average volume. Thus far, 340,508 shares of Regency Centers Corporation exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 462,500 shares. The stock has ranged in price between $49.69-$51.19 after having opened the day at $49.99 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $49.64.

Regency Centers Corporation operates as a real estate investment trust. The company, through its subsidiaries, owns, operates, and develops community and neighborhood shopping centers that are tenanted by grocers, category-leading anchors, specialty retailers, and restaurants. Regency Centers Corporation has a market cap of $4.6 billion and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are up 7.2% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 5 analysts who rate Regency Centers Corporation a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 11 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Regency Centers Corporation as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, increase in net income and good cash flow from operations. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including disappointing return on equity and a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself. Get the full Regency Centers Corporation Ratings Report now.

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2. As of noon trading, AmTrust Financial Services ( AFSI) is up $3.60 (11.6%) to $34.60 on heavy volume. Thus far, 1.9 million shares of AmTrust Financial Services exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1.1 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $33.06-$36.10 after having opened the day at $33.12 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $31.00.

AmTrust Financial Services, Inc., through its subsidiaries, underwrites and provides property and casualty insurance in the United States and internationally. AmTrust Financial Services has a market cap of $2.3 billion and is part of the insurance industry. Shares are down 5.2% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 3 analysts who rate AmTrust Financial Services a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 1 rates it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates AmTrust Financial Services as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, impressive record of earnings per share growth, notable return on equity, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and compelling growth in net income. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow. Get the full AmTrust Financial Services 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, Progressive Corporation ( PGR) is up $0.22 (0.9%) to $23.78 on average volume. Thus far, 1.4 million shares of Progressive Corporation exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3.6 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $23.42-$23.85 after having opened the day at $23.42 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $23.56.

The Progressive Corporation, through its subsidiaries, provides personal and commercial automobile insurance, and other specialty property-casualty insurance products and related services primarily in the United States. Progressive Corporation has a market cap of $14.1 billion and is part of the insurance industry. Shares are down 13.6% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are no analysts who rate Progressive Corporation a buy, 8 analysts rate it a sell, and 10 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Progressive Corporation 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, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and compelling growth in net income. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself. Get the full Progressive Corporation 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 3 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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