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HCP ( HCP) pushed the Financial sector higher today making it today's featured financial winner. The sector as a whole closed the day down 0.1%. By the end of trading, HCP rose $0.85 (2.1%) to $41.61 on average volume. Throughout the day, 3,177,421 shares of HCP exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3,134,300 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $40.95-$41.61 after having opened the day at $40.97 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $40.76. Other companies within the Financial sector that increased today were: RCS Capital ( RCAP), up 8.0%, InnSuites Hospitality ( IHT), up 7.7%, Northstar Realty Finance ( NRF), up 7.3% and Mackinac Financial ( MFNC), up 6.7%.

HCP, Inc. is an independent hybrid real estate investment trust. The fund invests in real estate markets of the United States. HCP has a market cap of $18.7 billion and is part of the real estate industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 18.8, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 12.2% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are 3 analysts that rate HCP a buy, 2 analysts rate it a sell, and 8 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates HCP as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its growth in earnings per share, compelling growth in net income, revenue growth, expanding profit margins and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself.

On the negative front, OptimumBank Holdings ( OPHC), down 11.8%, IFM Investments ( CTC), down 11.0%, Och-Ziff Capital Management Group ( OZM), down 9.9% and Desarrolladora Homex SAB de CV ADR ( HXM), down 8.2% , were all laggards within the financial sector with Franklin Resources ( BEN) 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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