Hartford Financial Services Group Inc (HIG): Today's Featured Financial Winner

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.

Hartford Financial Services Group ( HIG) pushed the Financial sector higher today making it today's featured financial winner. The sector as a whole closed the day up 0.3%. By the end of trading, Hartford Financial Services Group rose $0.51 (1.5%) to $35.19 on average volume. Throughout the day, 3,540,763 shares of Hartford Financial Services Group exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3,956,300 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $34.57-$35.36 after having opened the day at $34.77 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $34.68. Other companies within the Financial sector that increased today were: China Commercial Credit ( CCCR), up 32.3%, Donegal Group ( DGICB), up 12.5%, iPath Global Carbon ETN ( GRN), up 11.6% and LiqTech International ( LIQT), up 10.1%.

The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc., through its subsidiaries, provides insurance and financial services to individual and business customers primarily in the United States and Japan. Hartford Financial Services Group has a market cap of $15.4 billion and is part of the insurance industry. Shares are down 4.3% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 11 analysts that rate Hartford Financial Services Group a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 5 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Hartford Financial Services Group as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its impressive record of earnings per share growth, solid stock price performance, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, notable return on equity and compelling growth in net income. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins.

On the negative front, Cash Store Financial Services ( CSFS), down 23.8%, VelocityShares 3x Inverse Natural Gas ETN ( DGAZ), down 8.6%, United Insurance Holdings ( UIHC), down 7.6% and Direxion Daily Russia Bull 3X Shares ( RUSL), down 6.8% , were all laggards within the financial sector with Ocwen Financial Corporation ( OCN) being today's financial sector laggard.

For investors not wanting singular stock exposure, 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).

3x UPSIDE POTENTIAL: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12-months. Learn more.

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