Today's Stocks Driving Success For The Financial Sector

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.

Two out of the three major indices are trading lower today with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) trading down 21 points (-0.1%) at 16,894 as of Friday, July 11, 2014, 12:55 PM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,379 issues advancing vs. 1,581 declining with 154 unchanged.

The Financial sector currently is unchanged today versus the S&P 500, which is down 0.1%. Top gainers within the sector include Western Union ( WU), up 1.8%, Franklin Resources ( BEN), up 0.8%, Goldman Sachs Group ( GS), up 0.7%, Fifth Third Bancorp ( FITB), up 0.6% and Northern ( NTRS), up 0.5%. On the negative front, top decliners within the sector include Realogy Holdings ( RLGY), down 1.8%, Orix ( IX), down 1.8%, Shinhan Financial Group ( SHG), down 1.8%, Grupo Financiero Santander Mexico SAB de CV ( BSMX), down 1.0% and KB Financial Group ( KB), down 1.0%.

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

3. National Bank of Greece ( NBG) is one of the companies pushing the Financial sector higher today. As of noon trading, National Bank of Greece is up $0.07 (2.1%) to $3.47 on light volume. Thus far, 1.2 million shares of National Bank of Greece exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 6.2 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $3.41-$3.47 after having opened the day at $3.43 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $3.40.

National Bank of Greece S.A., together with its subsidiaries, offers diversified financial services primarily in Greece. The company is involved in retail and commercial banking, investment management, investment banking, insurance, investment activities, and securities trading activities. National Bank of Greece has a market cap of $12.3 billion and is part of the banking industry. Shares are down 39.3% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there is 1 analyst who rates National Bank of Greece a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and none rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates National Bank of Greece as a sell. Among the areas we feel are negative, one of the most important has been the company's poor growth in earnings per share. Get the full National Bank of Greece 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, XL Group ( XL) is up $0.34 (1.0%) to $33.66 on average volume. Thus far, 972,611 shares of XL Group exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1.5 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $33.26-$33.70 after having opened the day at $33.30 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $33.32.

XL GROUP Public Limited Company, an insurance and reinsurance company, through its subsidiaries, provides property, casualty, and specialty products to industrial, commercial, and professional firms; and insurance companies and other enterprises worldwide. XL Group has a market cap of $9.1 billion and is part of the insurance industry. Shares are up 4.7% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 9 analysts who rate XL Group a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 1 rates it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates XL Group as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, good cash flow from operations, notable return on equity and increase in stock price during the past year. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income. Get the full XL 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.

1. As of noon trading, Prudential Financial ( PRU) is up $0.49 (0.6%) to $89.28 on light volume. Thus far, 878,735 shares of Prudential Financial exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2.5 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $88.38-$89.30 after having opened the day at $88.59 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $88.79.

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 $41.2 billion and is part of the insurance industry. Shares are down 3.7% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday. 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 buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, compelling growth in net income, good cash flow from operations, increase in stock price during the past year and impressive record of earnings per share growth. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had generally high debt management risk by most measures that we evaluated. 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.

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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