Financial Stocks On The Rise With Help From 3 Stocks

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 down today with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) trading down 17 points (-0.1%) at 16,556 as of Thursday, April 3, 2014, 12:55 PM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,086 issues advancing vs. 1,855 declining with 176 unchanged.

The Financial sector currently sits down 0.4% versus the S&P 500, which is down 0.3%. A company within the sector that increased today was American Express ( AXP), up 0.6%. On the negative front, top decliners within the sector include TD Ameritrade Holding Corporation ( AMTD), down 3.4%, Waddell & Reed Financial ( WDR), down 3.1%, Shinhan Financial Group ( SHG), down 2.8%, HDFC Bank ( HDB), down 2.1% and Royal Bank of Scotland Group (The ( RBS), down 2.1%.

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

3. KKR ( KKR) is one of the companies pushing the Financial sector higher today. As of noon trading, KKR is up $0.58 (2.5%) to $23.64 on average volume. Thus far, 1.2 million shares of KKR exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2.3 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $23.29-$23.75 after having opened the day at $23.38 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $23.06.

Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. is a private equity investment firm specializing in acquisitions, leveraged buyouts, management buyouts, special situations, growth equity, mature, distressed, and middle market investments. KKR has a market cap of $6.7 billion and is part of the financial services industry. Shares are down 5.3% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 9 analysts who rate KKR a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 2 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates KKR as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its increase in stock price during the past year, growth in earnings per share, compelling growth in net income, attractive valuation levels and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow. Get the full KKR 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, Progressive Corporation ( PGR) is up $0.24 (1.0%) to $24.34 on light volume. Thus far, 1.3 million shares of Progressive Corporation exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 4.1 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $24.15-$24.36 after having opened the day at $24.16 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $24.11.

The Progressive Corporation, through its subsidiaries, provides personal and commercial automobile insurance, and other specialty property-casualty insurance products and related services primarily in the United States. Progressive Corporation has a market cap of $14.3 billion and is part of the insurance industry. Shares are down 11.6% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are no analysts who rate Progressive Corporation a buy, 7 analysts rate it a sell, and 9 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Progressive Corporation as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, notable return on equity, good cash flow from operations, impressive record of earnings per share growth and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself. Get the full Progressive Corporation 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, Aflac ( AFL) is up $0.45 (0.7%) to $63.91 on light volume. Thus far, 493,984 shares of Aflac exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2.0 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $63.57-$63.96 after having opened the day at $63.79 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $63.46.

Aflac Incorporated, through its subsidiary, American Family Life Assurance Company of Columbus, provides supplemental health and life insurance products. It operates through two segments, Aflac Japan and Aflac U.S. Aflac has a market cap of $28.8 billion and is part of the insurance industry. Shares are down 5.0% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 8 analysts who rate Aflac a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 8 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Aflac as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, notable return on equity, growth in earnings per share, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and increase in net income. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow. Get the full Aflac 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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