3 Financial Stocks Pushing Sector Growth

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 37 points (0.2%) at 16,217 as of Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2014, 11:55 AM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,992 issues advancing vs. 910 declining with 172 unchanged.

The Financial sector currently sits up 0.2% versus the S&P 500, which is up 0.3%. Top gainers within the sector include E-House China Holdings ( EJ), up 4.6%, Glacier Bancorp ( GBCI), up 4.0%, Strategic Hotels & Resorts ( BEE), up 3.5%, AmTrust Financial Services ( AFSI), up 3.4% and Annaly Capital Management ( NLY), up 2.9%. On the negative front, top decliners within the sector include CoreLogic ( CLGX), down 5.0%, Credit Suisse Group ( CS), down 2.9%, Royal Bank of Scotland Group (The ( RBS), down 2.2%, Orix Corporation ( IX), down 1.4% and MetLife ( MET), down 1.4%.

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

3. HCP ( HCP) is one of the companies pushing the Financial sector higher today. As of noon trading, HCP is up $0.28 (0.8%) to $37.72 on light volume. Thus far, 590,799 shares of HCP exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3.0 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $37.41-$37.76 after having opened the day at $37.56 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $37.44.

HCP, Inc. is an independent hybrid real estate investment trust. The fund invests in real estate markets of the United States. HCP has a market cap of $17.3 billion and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are up 4.1% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 2 analysts who rate HCP a buy, 2 analysts rate it a sell, and 9 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates HCP as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, growth in earnings per share, compelling growth in net income, expanding profit margins and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself. Get the full HCP Ratings Report now.

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2. As of noon trading, KeyCorp ( KEY) is up $0.10 (0.8%) to $13.00 on light volume. Thus far, 3.1 million shares of KeyCorp exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 10.4 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $12.90-$13.02 after having opened the day at $12.94 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $12.90.

KeyCorp. operates as the holding company for KeyBank National Association that provides various banking services in the United States. KeyCorp has a market cap of $11.6 billion and is part of the banking industry. Shares are down 3.9% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 6 analysts who rate KeyCorp a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 14 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates KeyCorp as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its growth in earnings per share, expanding profit margins, solid stock price performance, attractive valuation levels and notable return on equity. 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 KeyCorp 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, Simon Property Group ( SPG) is up $1.90 (1.2%) to $161.26 on light volume. Thus far, 447,594 shares of Simon Property Group exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1.5 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $159.94-$161.48 after having opened the day at $160.27 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $159.36.

Simon Property Group, Inc. is an equity real estate investment trust. The firm invests in the real estate markets across the globe. It engages in investment, ownership, and management of properties. Simon Property Group has a market cap of $49.7 billion and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are up 4.7% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 16 analysts who rate Simon Property Group a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 1 rates it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Simon Property Group as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its increase in net income, revenue growth, expanding profit margins, growth in earnings per share and increase in stock price during the past year. 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 Simon Property 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 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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