After the morning's trading, the Nasdaq is trading up 0.6%, the S&P 500 is up 0.2% and the Dow is unchanged. The financial sector is the category of stocks containing firms that provide financial services to commercial and retail customers. This sector includes banks, investment funds, insurance companies and real estate. Financial services perform best in low interest rate environments. A large portion of this sector generates revenue from mortgages and loans, which gain value as interest rates drop. Furthermore, when the business cycle is in an upswing, the financial sector benefits from additional investments. Improved economic conditions usually lead to more capital projects and increased personal investing. New projects require financing, which usually leads to a larger number of loans.

The Financial sector (XLF) has remained steady so far today and here are its biggest movers:

Company Market Cap Percentage Change
Duff (NYSE:DUF) $553.6 million +20.2%
Federated Investors Inc (NYSE:FII) $2.06 billion +2.6%
FBL Financial (NYSE:FFG) $858.2 million +2.3%
Tower Group (Nasdaq:TWGP) $690 million -1.9%
A.F.P Provida SA (NYSE:PVD) $2.21 billion +1.5%
World (Nasdaq:WRLD) $942.5 million +1.3%
Mercury (NYSE:MCY) $2.19 billion -1.2%

Broker Summary: Fidelity Online Brokerage

Duff (NYSE:DUF) is currently at $15.70 per share after a dramatic increase of 20.2%. The company's volume is currently 2.8 million shares for the day, above yesterday's volume of 163,690 shares.

Federated Investors Inc (NYSE:FII) is at $20.35 per share after an increase of 2.6%. So far today, the company's volume is 381,168 shares. This is 0.3 times its average volume over the past three months.

FBL Financial (NYSE:FFG) is currently trading at $34.11 per share, a 2.3% increase. The company's volume for the day so far is 6,169 shares.

Tower Group (Nasdaq:TWGP) is currently trading at a share price of $17.64, a 1.9% decline. The company's volume is currently 95,463 shares for the day, 0.4 times the average daily volume.

Rising 1.5%, A.F.P Provida SA (NYSE:PVD) is currently trading at $101.79 per share. So far today, 5,120 shares of the company's stock have changed hands. This is on pace to reach yesterday's trading volume of 12,160 shares.

World (Nasdaq:WRLD) has increased to a share price of $73.86, a 1.3% rise. The company's volume is currently 21,182 shares for the day, 0.2 times its average over the past three months.

Falling 1.2%, Mercury (NYSE:MCY) is currently at a share price of $39.35. The company is currently trading a volume of 87,466 shares.

The Bottom Line The nature of the market is such that stocks will have good days and bad days. It is important to weigh current activity against historical performance when making any investment decisions. However, these fundamental metrics must be analyzed with historic data, industry information in addition to firm specific financial statements.