SLM Corp (SLM): Today's Featured Financial Services Laggard

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SLM ( SLM) pushed the Financial Services industry lower today making it today's featured Financial Services laggard. The industry as a whole closed the day up 0.3%. By the end of trading, SLM fell $0.30 (-1.3%) to $23.41 on average volume. Throughout the day, 4,991,788 shares of SLM exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 4,259,400 shares. The stock ranged in price between $23.32-$23.82 after having opened the day at $23.65 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $23.71. Other companies within the Financial Services industry that declined today were: Blackhawk Network Holdings ( HAWK), down 20.2%, Cash Store Financial Services ( CSFS), down 13.2%, Direxion Daily Gold Miners Bear 3X Shares ( DUST), down 10.6% and Barclays Short B Leveraged Inverse S&P 500 ( BXDB), down 7.5%.

SLM Corporation, also known as Sallie Mae, originates, acquires, finances, and services private education loans in the United States. The company operates through three segments: Consumer Lending, Business Services, and FFELP Loans. SLM has a market cap of $10.4 billion and is part of the financial sector. Shares are down 9.0% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 4 analysts that rate SLM a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 2 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates SLM as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, notable return on equity, attractive valuation levels and expanding profit margins. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.

On the positive front, Direxion Daily Gold Miners Bull 3X Shares ( NUGT), up 11.1%, Market Vectors Junior Gold Miners ETF ( GDXJ), up 6.4%, Paulson Capital ( PLCC), up 6.2% and ProShares Ultra Russell MidCap Value ( UVU), up 6.0% , were all gainers within the financial services industry with E*Trade Financial ( ETFC) being today's featured financial services industry leader.

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).

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12-months. Learn more.

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