3 Banking Stocks Pushing Industry 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.

Two out of the three major indices are trading lower today with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) trading up 22 points (0.1%) at 16,444 as of Friday, March 7, 2014, 11:55 AM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,114 issues advancing vs. 1,815 declining with 163 unchanged.

The Banking industry currently sits up 0.3% versus the S&P 500, which is down 0.2%. Top gainers within the industry include HDFC Bank ( HDB), up 5.7%, Wells Fargo ( WFC), up 0.9% and JPMorgan Chase ( JPM), up 0.6%. On the negative front, top decliners within the industry include KB Financial Group ( KB), down 3.4%, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group ( MTU), down 1.7% and Shinhan Financial Group ( SHG), down 1.6%.

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

3. Fifth Third Bancorp ( FITB) is one of the companies pushing the Banking industry higher today. As of noon trading, Fifth Third Bancorp is up $0.34 (1.5%) to $22.64 on average volume. Thus far, 4.1 million shares of Fifth Third Bancorp exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 7.6 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $22.42-$22.75 after having opened the day at $22.42 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $22.30.

Fifth Third Bancorp operates as a diversified financial services company in the United States. It operates through four segments: Commercial Banking, Branch Banking, Consumer Lending, and Investment Advisors. Fifth Third Bancorp has a market cap of $18.9 billion and is part of the financial sector. Shares are up 5.6% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 10 analysts who rate Fifth Third Bancorp a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 10 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Fifth Third Bancorp as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, expanding profit margins, good cash flow from operations, notable return on equity and increase in net income. Although the company may harbor some minor weaknesses, we feel they are unlikely to have a significant impact on results. Get the full Fifth Third Bancorp 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.

2. As of noon trading, PNC Financial Services Group ( PNC) is up $1.18 (1.4%) to $84.00 on average volume. Thus far, 1.1 million shares of PNC Financial Services Group exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2.2 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $83.29-$84.65 after having opened the day at $83.40 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $82.82.

The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. operates as a diversified financial services company in the United States and internationally. The company's Retail Banking segment provides deposit, lending, brokerage, investment management, and cash management services. PNC Financial Services Group has a market cap of $44.3 billion and is part of the financial sector. Shares are up 6.9% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 10 analysts who rate PNC Financial Services Group a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 10 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates PNC Financial Services Group as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, compelling growth in net income, expanding profit margins, notable return on equity and impressive record of earnings per share growth. Although the company may harbor some minor weaknesses, we feel they are unlikely to have a significant impact on results. Get the full PNC Financial Services 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.

1. As of noon trading, U.S. Bancorp ( USB) is up $0.47 (1.1%) to $42.12 on light volume. Thus far, 2.8 million shares of U.S. Bancorp exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 7.7 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $41.79-$42.48 after having opened the day at $41.89 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $41.65.

U.S. Bancorp, a financial services holding company, provides a range of financial services in the United States. U.S. Bancorp has a market cap of $75.4 billion and is part of the financial sector. Shares are up 2.6% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 9 analysts who rate U.S. Bancorp a buy, 2 analysts rate it a sell, and 12 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates U.S. Bancorp as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its growth in earnings per share, expanding profit margins, increase in stock price during the past year and increase in net income. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow. Get the full U.S. Bancorp 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 banking industry could consider KBW Bank ETF ( KBE) while those bearish on the banking industry could consider ProShares Short KBW Regional Bankng ( KRS).

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