3 Financial Stocks Dragging The Sector Down

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 up today with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) trading up 31 points (0.2%) at 16,439 as of Monday, April 21, 2014, 12:55 PM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,695 issues advancing vs. 1,308 declining with 151 unchanged.

The Financial sector currently sits up 0.1% versus the S&P 500, which is up 0.2%. On the negative front, top decliners within the sector include MoneyGram International ( MGI), down 14.5%, National Bank of Greece ( NBG), down 2.5%, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group ( MTU), down 1.8%, Nomura Holdings ( NMR), down 1.3% and Macerich Company ( MAC), down 1.1%. Top gainers within the sector include Zillow ( Z), up 7.3%, CoStar Group ( CSGP), up 3.1%, SunTrust Banks ( STI), up 1.8%, Orix Corporation ( IX), up 1.7% and Western Union Company ( WU), up 1.4%.

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

3. Aflac ( AFL) is one of the companies pushing the Financial sector lower today. As of noon trading, Aflac is down $0.32 (-0.5%) to $62.73 on light volume. Thus far, 594,663 shares of Aflac exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1.9 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $62.51-$62.96 after having opened the day at $62.64 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $63.05.

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 $28.7 billion and is part of the insurance industry. Shares are down 5.6% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 7 analysts that 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.

STOCKS TO BUY: 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, Travelers Companies ( TRV) is down $0.54 (-0.6%) to $86.14 on light volume. Thus far, 643,867 shares of Travelers Companies exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2.7 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $86.07-$86.84 after having opened the day at $86.71 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $86.68.

The Travelers Companies, Inc., through its subsidiaries, provides various commercial and personal property, and casualty insurance products and services to businesses, government units, associations, and individuals in the United States. Travelers Companies has a market cap of $30.1 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 9 analysts that rate Travelers Companies a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 12 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Travelers Companies as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, notable return on equity, expanding profit margins and good cash flow from operations. Although the company may harbor some minor weaknesses, we feel they are unlikely to have a significant impact on results. Get the full Travelers Companies Ratings Report now.

STOCKS TO BUY: 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, Citigroup ( C) is down $0.30 (-0.6%) to $47.92 on light volume. Thus far, 7.0 million shares of Citigroup exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 30.5 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $47.81-$48.22 after having opened the day at $48.18 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $48.22.

Citigroup Inc., a diversified financial services holding company, provides various financial products and services to consumers, corporations, governments, and institutions. Citigroup has a market cap of $146.5 billion and is part of the banking industry. Shares are down 7.5% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 14 analysts that rate Citigroup a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 6 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Citigroup as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its increase in net income, attractive valuation levels, notable return on equity and increase in stock price during the past year. Although no company is perfect, currently we do not see any significant weaknesses which are likely to detract from the generally positive outlook. Get the full Citigroup Ratings Report now.

STOCKS TO BUY: 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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