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M&T Bank ( MTB) 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, M&T Bank rose $1.55 (1.3%) to $118.91 on light volume. Throughout the day, 721,324 shares of M&T Bank exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1,025,500 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $117.73-$119.30 after having opened the day at $117.73 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $117.36. Other companies within the Financial sector that increased today were: Meridian Interstate Bancorp ( EBSB), up 13.4%, Howard Bancorp Inc Md ( HBMD), up 11.2%, Carolina Trust Bank ( CART), up 10.0% and National Security Group ( NSEC), up 9.6%.

M&T Bank Corporation operates as the bank holding company for M&T Bank that provides commercial and retail banking services. The company's Business Banking segment offers deposit, lending, cash management, and other financial services to small businesses and professionals. M&T Bank has a market cap of $15.4 billion and is part of the banking industry. Shares are up 1.2% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 4 analysts that rate M&T Bank a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 12 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates M&T Bank as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its expanding profit margins, good cash flow from operations, notable return on equity, reasonable valuation levels and increase in stock price during the past year. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.

On the negative front, Swedish Export Credit ( FUE), down 12.8%, UBS E-TRACS Fisher-Gartman Risk Off ETN ( OFF), down 9.7%, Siebert Financial Corporation ( SIEB), down 7.6% and FedFirst Financial Corporation ( FFCO), down 7.2% , were all laggards within the financial sector with HCP ( HCP) 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).

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