The market is on the rise this morning. The Nasdaq has climbed 2.3%; the S&P 500 has risen 1.8%; and the Dow is up 1.9%. 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.

Outperforming the market overall, the Financial sector (XLF) is up 2.4% and its biggest movers so far today are:

Company Market Cap Percentage Change
Gamco Investors (NYSE:GBL) $1.41 billion +5%
Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE:BRK.B) $98.65 billion +3%
Franklin (NYSE:BEN) $26.69 billion +2.8%
MasterCard (NYSE:MA) $58.6 billion +2.8%
First Citizens BancShares (Nasdaq:FCNCA) $1.68 billion +2.8%
Affiliated Managers Group (NYSE:AMG) $6.74 billion +2.7%
Visa (NYSE:V) $80.51 billion +2.6%

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Rising 5%, Gamco Investors (NYSE:GBL) is currently trading at $55.50 per share. The company's volume is currently 2,923 shares for the day, 0.1 times the average daily volume.

Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE:BRK.B) is up 3% to reach a current price of $92.44 per share. So far today, 2.6 million shares of the company's stock have changed hands. This is on pace to reach yesterday's trading volume of six million shares.

Franklin (NYSE:BEN) has increased to a share price of $129.27, a 2.8% rise. The company's volume for the day so far is 173,136 shares, 0.3 times the average volume over the last three months.

Increasing 2.8%, MasterCard (NYSE:MA) is trading at $505.16 per share. The company is currently trading a volume of 521,322 shares.

After rising 2.8%, First Citizens BancShares (Nasdaq:FCNCA) is currently trading at a share price of $168.07. The company's volume is currently 8,481 shares for the day, 0.7 times its current daily average.

Affiliated Managers Group (NYSE:AMG) is currently trading at $133.63 per share, a 2.7% increase. The company is trading at a volume of 93,930 shares. This is on pace to fall short of yesterday's volume of 237,136 shares.

Visa (NYSE:V) is at $155.52 per share after an increase of 2.6%. So far today, the company's volume is 1.9 million shares, 0.7 times its average over the past three months.

The Bottom Line No matter the economic climate, Wall Street will always have stocks that make major moves each week. Daily stock performance should be weighed against historical performance and put in context of the market overall. Tools like valuation ratios and profit margins, however, are only as useful as the context you put them in; remember to take historical data and competitor performance into account.

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