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General Growth Properties ( GGP) pushed the Real Estate industry lower today making it today's featured Real Estate laggard. The industry as a whole closed the day down 0.2%. By the end of trading, General Growth Properties fell $0.25 (-1.1%) to $22.20 on light volume. Throughout the day, 4,659,604 shares of General Growth Properties exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 7,625,100 shares. The stock ranged in price between $22.01-$22.40 after having opened the day at $22.33 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $22.45. Other companies within the Real Estate industry that declined today were: Desarrolladora Homex SAB de CV ADR ( HXM), down 17.9%, Supertel Hospitality ( SPPR), down 17.8%, Campus Crest Communities ( CCG), down 10.4% and Walter Investment Management ( WAC), down 8.4%.

General Growth Properties, Inc is an equity real estate investment trust. The firm invests in the real estate markets of the United States. It engages in owning, managing, leasing, and redeveloping high-quality regional malls. General Growth Properties has a market cap of $19.8 billion and is part of the financial sector. Shares are up 11.9% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 7 analysts that rate General Growth Properties a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 6 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates General Growth Properties as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its compelling growth in net income, reasonable valuation levels and increase in stock price during the past year. However, as a counter to these strengths, we find that the growth in the company's earnings per share has not been good.

On the positive front, J.W. Mays ( MAYS), up 9.2%, JGWPT Holdings Inc Class A ( JGW), up 6.0%, Altis Resident ( RESI), up 4.2% and Rexford Industrial Realty ( REXR), up 3.4% , were all gainers within the real estate industry with Northstar Realty Finance Corporation ( NRF) being today's featured real estate industry leader.

For investors not wanting singular stock exposure, ETFs may be of interest. Investors who are bullish on the real estate industry could consider iShares Dow Jones US Real Estate ( IYR) while those bearish on the real estate industry could consider ProShares Short Real Estate Fund ( REK).

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