Financial Stocks, Including Westpac Banking Corporation, Making Big Moves on October 11, 2012

By Investopedia Staff | October 11, 2012 AAA

The market has been doing well after the morning's trading. The Nasdaq has climbed 0.3%; the S&P 500 has moved up 0.6%; and the Dow has climbed 0.3%. 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 0.9% and its biggest movers so far today are:

Company Market Cap Percentage Change
Deutsche (NYSE:DB) $37.78 billion +4%
Altisource Portfolio Solutions (Nasdaq:ASPS) $2.53 billion +2.7%
A.F.P Provida SA (NYSE:PVD) $2.39 billion +2.4%
MasterCard (NYSE:MA) $55.3 billion +2.3%
Westpac Banking Corporation (NYSE:WBK) $79.3 billion +1.8%
Texas Pacific (NYSE:TPL) $503.4 million -1.8%
Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) $57.57 billion +1.7%

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Increasing 4%, Deutsche (NYSE:DB) is trading at $42.81 per share. So far today, the company's volume is 697,575 shares. This is consistent with its current daily average. As a stock moves up or down, it is important to pay attention to the trading volume. This indicates the level of interest: the higher the volume, the more the interest.

Altisource Portfolio Solutions (Nasdaq:ASPS) has risen 2.7% and is currently trading at $111.28 per share. The company's volume for the day so far is 59,463 shares, 0.2 times the average volume over the last three months. Volume is an important indicator because it indicates how significant a price shift is.

A.F.P Provida SA (NYSE:PVD) is up 2.4% to reach a current price of $110.99 per share. The company is currently trading a volume of 3,565 shares. Volume indicates the level of interest that investors have in a company at its current price.

MasterCard (NYSE:MA) has increased to a share price of $472.53, a 2.3% rise. This morning, 506,198 shares have been traded, which is more trading activity than there was yesterday. If a stock price moves on high volume, this means that the change is a significant one.

Westpac Banking Corporation (NYSE:WBK) has moved up 1.8% and is currently trading at $132.80 per share. The company's volume for the day so far is 12,247 shares. This is consistent with its current daily average. Volume is an important indicator in technical analysis as it is used to measure the worth of a market move. If the markets have made a strong price move either up or down the perceived strength of that move depends on the volume for that period. The higher the volume during that price move the more significant the move.

Slipping 1.8%, Texas Pacific (NYSE:TPL) is currently trading at $55.09 per share. The company's volume is currently 3,251 shares for the day, 0.3 times its average over the past three months. In technical analysis, trading volume is used to determine the strength of a market indicator.

After an increase of 1.7%, Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) has reached a current price of $122.13. So far today, the company's volume is 1.5 million shares. Volume is also used as a secondary indicator to help confirm what the price movement is suggesting.

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. Keep in mind that all these ratios should be compared against historical numbers and industry information in order to get a more complete picture.

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