3 Stocks Boosting The Financial Services Industry 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 72 points (0.4%) at 16,112 as of Thursday, Feb. 20, 2014, 11:55 AM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,810 issues advancing vs. 1,095 declining with 165 unchanged.

The Financial Services industry currently sits up 0.1% versus the S&P 500, which is up 0.3%. Top gainers within the industry include Credit Acceptance Corporation ( CACC), up 2.2%, Morgan Stanley ( MS), up 1.0%, CIT Group ( CIT), up 0.7% and Charles Schwab ( SCHW), up 0.7%. On the negative front, top decliners within the industry include MasterCard Incorporated ( MA), down 1.7%, Nomura Holdings ( NMR), down 1.3%, CBOE Holdings ( CBOE), down 1.2%, CME Group ( CME), down 0.9% and American Express ( AXP), down 0.6%.

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

3. American Capital ( ACAS) is one of the companies pushing the Financial Services industry higher today. As of noon trading, American Capital is up $0.18 (1.2%) to $15.52 on heavy volume. Thus far, 3.1 million shares of American Capital exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2.3 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $15.27-$15.58 after having opened the day at $15.29 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $15.34.

American Capital, Ltd. is a private equity and venture capital firm specializing in management and employee buyouts, leveraged finance, mezzanine, acquisition, recapitalization, middle market, and growth capital investments. American Capital has a market cap of $4.3 billion and is part of the financial sector. Shares are down 3.6% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 2 analysts who rate American Capital a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 4 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates American Capital as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its expanding profit margins and increase in stock price during the past year. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including deteriorating net income, disappointing return on equity and feeble growth in the company's earnings per share. Get the full American Capital Ratings Report now.

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2. As of noon trading, Waddell & Reed Financial ( WDR) is up $0.73 (1.1%) to $68.59 on average volume. Thus far, 275,137 shares of Waddell & Reed Financial exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 631,700 shares. The stock has ranged in price between $67.57-$68.76 after having opened the day at $67.96 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $67.86.

Waddell & Reed Financial, Inc., through its subsidiaries, provides investment management, investment product underwriting and distribution, and shareholder services administration to mutual funds, and institutional and separately managed accounts in the United States. Waddell & Reed Financial has a market cap of $5.9 billion and is part of the financial sector. Shares are up 4.2% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 2 analysts who rate Waddell & Reed Financial a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 6 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Waddell & Reed Financial 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, compelling growth in net income, expanding profit margins and solid stock price performance. 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 Waddell & Reed Financial 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, Blackstone Group ( BX) is up $0.32 (1.0%) to $31.69 on average volume. Thus far, 2.3 million shares of Blackstone Group exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 4.7 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $31.39-$31.85 after having opened the day at $31.43 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $31.37.

The Blackstone Group L.P. is a publicly owned investment manager. The firm also provides financial advisory services to its clients. It provides its services to public and corporate pension funds, academic, cultural, and charitable organizations. Blackstone Group has a market cap of $17.8 billion and is part of the financial sector. Shares are down 0.4% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 8 analysts who rate Blackstone Group a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 1 rates it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Blackstone Group as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, expanding profit margins, solid stock price performance, impressive record of earnings per share growth and compelling growth in net income. 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 Blackstone 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.

If you are interested in one of these 3 stocks, 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).

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