On a bad day for the market, the Nasdaq has decreased 0.4%, the S&P 500 is down 0.2% and the Dow has fallen 0.2%. 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) is down 0.3%, outperforming the market overall. Currently, the biggest movers in the sector are:

Company Market Cap Percentage Change
American National Insurance (Nasdaq:ANAT) $1.76 billion +3.5%
Erie Indemnity (Nasdaq:ERIE) $3.64 billion +2.9%
iShares Silver Trust (NYSE:SLV) $10.76 billion -2.1%
ICICI Bank Limited (NYSE:IBN) $21.98 billion -2%
First Cash Financial Services (Nasdaq:FCFS) $1.37 billion -2%
Nationstar Mortgage Holdings (NYSE:NSM) $2.45 billion +1.9%
Woori Finance Holdings Co., Ltd (NYSE:WF) $7.27 billion +1.9%

Software Summary: Finviz.com Stock Screener

American National Insurance (Nasdaq:ANAT) has increased to a share price of $67.76, a 3.5% rise. So far today, the company's volume is 20,895 shares.

Erie Indemnity (Nasdaq:ERIE) is currently trading at $70.71 per share, a 2.9% increase. At 13,380 shares, the company's volume so far today is 0.6 times its average over the past three months.

iShares Silver Trust (NYSE:SLV) is currently trading at a share price of $32.43, a 2.1% decline. The company is trading at a volume of 5.8 million shares. This is about the same trading activity as there was yesterday.

Slipping 2%, ICICI Bank Limited (NYSE:IBN) is currently trading at $40.69 per share. The company's volume is currently one million shares for the day, 0.9 times the average daily volume.

Currently trading at $48.01 per share, First Cash Financial Services (Nasdaq:FCFS) has fallen 2%. So far today, 51,989 shares have changed hands.

After an increase of 1.9%, Nationstar Mortgage Holdings (NYSE:NSM) has reached a current price of $29.94. The company's volume is currently 547,544 shares for the day, 0.4 times its current three-month average.

Rising 1.9%, Woori Finance Holdings Co., Ltd (NYSE:WF) is currently trading at $28.17 per share. The company's volume for the day so far is 3,253 shares. At this rate, trading activity will likely be down from yesterday when 9,263 shares changed hands.

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. 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.