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.

Two out of the three major indices are trading up today with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) trading down 42 points (-0.2%) at 17,072 as of Wednesday, July 23, 2014, 12:55 PM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,641 issues advancing vs. 1,297 declining with 186 unchanged.

The Financial sector currently sits up 0.2% versus the S&P 500, which is up 0.1%. Top gainers within the sector include Deutsche Bank ( DB), up 2.5%, SEI Investments Company ( SEIC), up 2.5%, Icahn ( IEP), up 1.9%, KB Financial Group ( KB), up 1.6% and Woori Finance Holdings ( WF), up 1.6%. On the negative front, top decliners within the sector include Discover Financial Services ( DFS), down 2.0%, MasterCard ( MA), down 1.3%, Orix ( IX), down 1.0%, HDFC Bank ( HDB), down 1.0% and BlackRock ( BLK), down 0.7%.

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

3. Public Storage ( PSA) is one of the companies pushing the Financial sector higher today. As of noon trading, Public Storage is up $1.04 (0.6%) to $174.18 on average volume. Thus far, 287,973 shares of Public Storage exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 587,200 shares. The stock has ranged in price between $173.11-$174.83 after having opened the day at $173.11 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $173.14.

Public Storage is an equity real estate investment trust. It engages in the acquisition, development, ownership, and operation of self-storage facilities in the United States and Europe. Public Storage has a market cap of $29.8 billion and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are up 15.0% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 5 analysts who rate Public Storage a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 11 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Public Storage as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its growth in earnings per share, increase in net income, revenue growth, expanding profit margins and good cash flow from operations. 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 Public Storage Ratings Report now.

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2. As of noon trading, Marsh & McLennan Companies ( MMC) is up $0.30 (0.6%) to $52.33 on light volume. Thus far, 676,864 shares of Marsh & McLennan Companies exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2.0 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $52.00-$52.38 after having opened the day at $52.13 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $52.03.

Marsh & McLennan Companies, Inc., a professional services firm, provides advice and solutions primarily in the areas of risk, strategy, and human capital worldwide. It operates in two segments, Risk and Insurance Services and Consulting. Marsh & McLennan Companies has a market cap of $28.6 billion and is part of the insurance industry. Shares are up 7.6% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 11 analysts who rate Marsh & McLennan Companies a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 3 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Marsh & McLennan Companies as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its growth in earnings per share, revenue growth, good cash flow from operations, solid stock price performance and increase in net income. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company is trading at a premium valuation based on our review of its current price compared to such things as earnings and book value. Get the full Marsh & McLennan Companies 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, Allstate ( ALL) is up $0.30 (0.5%) to $58.39 on light volume. Thus far, 597,209 shares of Allstate exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2.2 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $58.12-$58.47 after having opened the day at $58.13 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $58.09.

The Allstate Corporation, through its subsidiaries, provides personal property and casualty insurance, life insurance, and retirement and investment products primarily in the United States. Allstate has a market cap of $25.2 billion and is part of the insurance industry. Shares are up 6.5% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 9 analysts who rate Allstate a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 9 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Allstate 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, attractive valuation levels 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 Allstate 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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