3 Financial Stocks Moving The Sector Upward

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 11 points (0.1%) at 16,218 as of Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2014, 11:55 AM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,600 issues advancing vs. 1,298 declining with 186 unchanged.

The Financial sector currently is unchanged today versus the S&P 500, which is up 0.2%. Top gainers within the sector include Altisource Portfolio Solutions ( ASPS), up 5.6%, SL Green Realty Corporation ( SLG), up 1.9%, CBRE Group ( CBG), up 1.3%, Annaly Capital Management ( NLY), up 1.2% and Arch Capital Group ( ACGL), up 1.2%. On the negative front, top decliners within the sector include Apollo Investment ( AINV), down 6.0%, Prospect Capital Corporation ( PSEC), down 2.7%, American Tower ( AMT), down 2.4%, Lincoln National Corp (Radnor ( LNC), down 1.2% and HDFC Bank ( HDB), down 1.0%.

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

3. Boston Properties ( BXP) is one of the companies pushing the Financial sector higher today. As of noon trading, Boston Properties is up $0.93 (0.8%) to $111.56 on light volume. Thus far, 255,901 shares of Boston Properties exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 836,700 shares. The stock has ranged in price between $110.25-$112.10 after having opened the day at $110.67 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $110.63.

Boston Properties, Inc., a real estate investment trust (REIT), together with its subsidiaries, engages in the ownership and development of office properties. Boston Properties has a market cap of $17.0 billion and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are up 10.2% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are 9 analysts who rate Boston Properties a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 6 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Boston Properties as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, compelling growth in net income, notable return on equity and increase in stock price during the past year. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins. Get the full Boston Properties Ratings Report now.

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2. As of noon trading, Realty Income Corporation ( O) is up $1.05 (2.4%) to $44.97 on average volume. Thus far, 1.2 million shares of Realty Income Corporation exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2.2 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $44.02-$44.97 after having opened the day at $44.06 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $43.92.

Realty Income Corporation is a publicly traded real estate investment trust. It invests in the real estate markets of the United States. The firm makes investments in commercial real estate. Realty Income Corporation was founded in 1969 and is based in Escondido, California. Realty Income Corporation has a market cap of $9.0 billion and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are up 17.6% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are 6 analysts who rate Realty Income Corporation a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 6 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Realty Income Corporation as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, compelling growth in net income, good cash flow from operations, growth in earnings per share and expanding profit margins. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat disappointing return on equity. Get the full Realty Income 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.

1. As of noon trading, Aflac ( AFL) is up $0.36 (0.6%) to $62.66 on light volume. Thus far, 469,978 shares of Aflac exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2.0 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $62.15-$62.78 after having opened the day at $62.33 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $62.30.

Aflac Incorporated, through its subsidiary, American Family Life Assurance Company of Columbus, provides supplemental health and life insurance products. Aflac has a market cap of $29.0 billion and is part of the insurance industry. Shares are down 6.7% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are 9 analysts who rate Aflac a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 8 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Aflac as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, notable return on equity, growth in earnings per share, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and attractive valuation levels. Although the company may harbor some minor weaknesses, we feel they are unlikely to have a significant impact on results. Get the full Aflac 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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