3 Financial Stocks Driving The Sector Higher

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 29 points (-0.2%) at 16,714 as of Tuesday, June 3, 2014, 12:55 PM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,066 issues advancing vs. 1,889 declining with 193 unchanged.

The Financial sector currently sits down 0.2% versus the S&P 500, which is down 0.1%. Top gainers within the sector include Popular ( BPOP), up 3.5%, Fifth Third Bancorp ( FITB), up 1.8%, Woori Finance Holdings ( WF), up 1.5%, Manulife Financial Corporation ( MFC), up 1.3% and Banco De Chile ( BCH), up 1.2%. On the negative front, top decliners within the sector include MarketAxess Holdings ( MKTX), down 5.4%, CBOE Holdings ( CBOE), down 3.8%, E*Trade Financial ( ETFC), down 2.8%, Fidelity National Financial ( FNF), down 1.7% and National Bank of Greece ( NBG), down 1.7%.

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

3. Prudential Financial ( PRU) is one of the companies pushing the Financial sector higher today. As of noon trading, Prudential Financial is up $1.25 (1.5%) to $85.27 on heavy volume. Thus far, 2.1 million shares of Prudential Financial exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2.6 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $83.73-$85.34 after having opened the day at $83.73 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $84.02.

Prudential Financial, Inc. provides insurance, investment management, and other financial products and services to individual and institutional customers in the United States and internationally. Prudential Financial has a market cap of $37.8 billion and is part of the insurance industry. Shares are down 8.9% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are 12 analysts who rate Prudential Financial a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 5 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Prudential Financial as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, compelling growth in net income and good cash flow from operations. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including generally higher debt management risk and poor profit margins. Get the full Prudential Financial 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, MetLife ( MET) is up $0.58 (1.1%) to $52.37 on average volume. Thus far, 2.9 million shares of MetLife exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 6.2 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $51.61-$52.38 after having opened the day at $51.67 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $51.79.

MetLife, Inc., through its subsidiaries, provides insurance, annuities, and employee benefit programs in the United States, Japan, Latin America, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East. MetLife has a market cap of $57.3 billion and is part of the insurance industry. Shares are down 4.0% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are 14 analysts who rate MetLife a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 2 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates MetLife as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income, increase in stock price during the past year, 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 shows weak operating cash flow. Get the full MetLife 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, Goldman Sachs Group ( GS) is up $0.89 (0.6%) to $160.92 on light volume. Thus far, 1.0 million shares of Goldman Sachs Group exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3.2 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $159.28-$160.95 after having opened the day at $159.76 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $160.03.

The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. provides investment banking, securities, and investment management services to corporations, financial institutions, governments, and high-net-worth individuals worldwide. Goldman Sachs Group has a market cap of $71.5 billion and is part of the financial services industry. Shares are down 9.7% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are 3 analysts who rate Goldman Sachs Group a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 12 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Goldman Sachs Group as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its attractive valuation levels, expanding profit margins and good cash flow from operations. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income. Get the full Goldman Sachs 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.

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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