So far today, the Nasdaq has remained steady, the S&P 500 has increased 0.3% and the Dow has moved little. 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.

These are the biggest movers in the Financial sector (XLF) (+0.9%):

Company Market Cap Percentage Change
Pinnacle Financial (Nasdaq:PNFP) $636.3 million +10.4%
Cathay General (Nasdaq:CATY) $1.33 billion +10.3%
China Life Insurance Company Ltd (NYSE:LFC) $85.96 billion -6.2%
M&T Bank (NYSE:MTB) $12.34 billion +4.8%
BancFirst (Nasdaq:BANF) $655.3 million +3.1%
Comerica (NYSE:CMA) $6.01 billion -2.7%
PNC Financial (NYSE:PNC) $31.98 billion -2.1%

Beginner's Guide To

Pinnacle Financial (Nasdaq:PNFP) is currently at $20.27 per share after a dramatic increase of 10.4%. The company is currently trading a volume of 285,897 shares.

Cathay General (Nasdaq:CATY) is trading at $18.66 per share, a significant rise of 10.3%. With 610,028 shares changing hands so far today, the company's volume is 3.3 times the current three-month average.

Currently trading at $42.80 per share, China Life Insurance Company Ltd (NYSE:LFC) has fallen 6.2%. So far today, 272,280 shares of the company's stock have changed hands. Yesterday's volume was only 197,600 shares.

M&T Bank (NYSE:MTB) is up 4.8% to reach a current price of $102.06 per share. So far today, the company's volume is 1.3 million shares, 1.6 times the average daily volume.

BancFirst (Nasdaq:BANF) is at $44.55 per share after an increase of 3.1%. This morning, the company is trading a volume of 44,110 shares.

Slipping 2.7%, Comerica (NYSE:CMA) is currently trading at $30.20 per share. The company's volume for the day so far is 2.5 million shares, 1.3 times the average volume over the last three months.

PNC Financial (NYSE:PNC) is currently trading at a share price of $59.16, a 2.1% decline. The company is trading at a volume of 4.8 million shares. This is on pace to reach yesterday's trading volume of 10.6 million shares.

The Bottom Line The nature of the market is such that stocks will have good days and bad days. Paying close attention to the previous ratios will help you identify key times to adjust your strategy. Keep in mind that all these ratios should be compared against historical numbers and industry information in order to get a more complete picture.