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.

All three major indices are trading up today with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) trading up 176 points (1.0%) at 18,236 as of Thursday, May 14, 2015, 12:55 PM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 2,373 issues advancing vs. 649 declining with 125 unchanged.

The Financial sector currently sits up 0.6% versus the S&P 500, which is up 0.8%. Top gainers within the sector include National Bank of Greece ( NBG), up 3.6%, Extra Space Storage ( EXR), up 2.8%, Banco Santander Brasil SA/Brazil ( BSBR), up 2.5%, General Growth Properties ( GGP), up 2.2% and Aegon ( AEG), up 2.0%. On the negative front, top decliners within the sector include Orix ( IX), down 1.9%, State Street ( STT), down 1.0%, Charles Schwab ( SCHW), down 0.8%, Bank of Montreal ( BMO), down 0.8% and Bank of Nova Scotia ( BNS), down 0.6%.

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

3. Allstate ( ALL) is one of the companies pushing the Financial sector higher today. As of noon trading, Allstate is up $0.48 (0.7%) to $67.47 on light volume. Thus far, 720,877 shares of Allstate exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2.4 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $67.19-$67.62 after having opened the day at $67.19 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $66.99.

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The Allstate Corporation, through its subsidiaries, engages in the property-liability insurance and life insurance businesses in the United States and Canada. Allstate has a market cap of $27.4 billion and is part of the insurance industry. Shares are down 4.8% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 8 analysts who rate Allstate a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 11 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, solid stock price performance, attractive valuation levels and good cash flow from operations. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins. Get the full Allstate Ratings Report now.

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2. As of noon trading, Blackstone Group ( BX) is up $0.53 (1.2%) to $43.11 on average volume. Thus far, 1.7 million shares of Blackstone Group exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 4.3 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $42.72-$43.15 after having opened the day at $42.74 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $42.58.

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The Blackstone Group L.P. is a publicly owned investment manager. The firm also provides financial advisory services to its clients. It provides its services to public and corporate pension funds, academic, cultural, and charitable organizations. Blackstone Group has a market cap of $25.9 billion and is part of the financial services industry. Shares are up 25.8% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 8 analysts who rate Blackstone Group a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 1 rates it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Blackstone Group as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, expanding profit margins, solid stock price performance, impressive record of earnings per share growth and compelling growth in net income. Although the company may harbor some minor weaknesses, we feel they are unlikely to have a significant impact on results. Get the full Blackstone Group Ratings Report now.

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1. As of noon trading, PNC Financial Services Group ( PNC) is up $0.72 (0.8%) to $94.92 on average volume. Thus far, 1.0 million shares of PNC Financial Services Group exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2.5 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $94.34-$94.99 after having opened the day at $94.96 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $94.19.

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The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. operates as a diversified financial services company in the United States. PNC Financial Services Group has a market cap of $48.6 billion and is part of the banking industry. Shares are up 2.9% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 6 analysts who rate PNC Financial Services Group a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 12 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates PNC Financial Services Group as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its expanding profit margins and increase in stock price during the past year. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat disappointing return on equity. Get the full PNC Financial Services Group Ratings Report now.

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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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