KKR, AFL And CME, 3 Financial Stocks Pushing The Sector Lower

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 60 points (0.4%) at 16,603 as of Friday, May 23, 2014, 12:55 PM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 2,002 issues advancing vs. 938 declining with 179 unchanged.

The Financial sector currently sits up 0.4% versus the S&P 500, which is up 0.3%. On the negative front, top decliners within the sector include HDFC Bank ( HDB), down 2.0%, Grupo Financiero Santander Mexico SAB de CV ( BSMX), down 2.0%, Woori Finance Holdings ( WF), down 1.8% and Deutsche Bank ( DB), down 1.6%. Top gainers within the sector include St Joe ( JOE), up 8.6%, National Bank of Greece ( NBG), up 3.9%, Plum Creek Timber ( PCL), up 2.5%, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group ( MTU), up 2.0% and Icahn ( IEP), up 1.7%.

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

3. KKR ( KKR) is one of the companies pushing the Financial sector lower today. As of noon trading, KKR is down $0.32 (-1.4%) to $23.06 on light volume. Thus far, 873,753 shares of KKR exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2.8 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $23.00-$23.46 after having opened the day at $23.45 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $23.38.

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 $9.6 billion and is part of the financial services industry. Shares are down 3.9% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 9 analysts that 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 robust revenue growth, increase in stock price during the past year, increase in net income and expanding profit margins. Although the company may harbor some minor weaknesses, we feel they are unlikely to have a significant impact on results. Get the full KKR 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, Aflac ( AFL) is down $0.69 (-1.1%) to $61.17 on average volume. Thus far, 814,646 shares of Aflac exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1.8 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $61.13-$61.68 after having opened the day at $61.20 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $61.86.

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 $28.2 billion and is part of the insurance industry. Shares are down 7.4% 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 9 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, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income. 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.

1. As of noon trading, CME Group ( CME) is down $0.44 (-0.6%) to $70.90 on light volume. Thus far, 547,515 shares of CME Group exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1.8 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $70.63-$71.40 after having opened the day at $71.29 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $71.34.

CME Group Inc., through its subsidiaries, operates contract markets for the trading of futures and options on futures contracts worldwide. CME Group has a market cap of $23.5 billion and is part of the financial services industry. Shares are down 9.1% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 7 analysts that rate CME Group a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 5 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates CME Group as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, increase in stock price during the past year, growth in earnings per share, reasonable valuation levels and expanding profit margins. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow. Get the full CME Group 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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