The 15 Most-Watched Financial-Services Stocks

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People watch stocks for different reasons -- they're waiting for a dip in price, watching for a specific catalyst, gathering all the news and information that might affect stocks they already own, or considering a sell. Regardless of their motivation, we can better understand market sentiment by seeing who's watching what. With the Fool's free My Watchlist service, we have tens of thousands of people telling us the businesses that have, for whatever reason, piqued their interest.

With this data we have come up with a new metric, watch interest, to inform investors what stocks their peers keep tabs on in each industry. In the case of the financial-services industry, watch interest is the percentage of people keeping an eye on financial-services stocks in general who are specifically watching each company. By looking at what stocks people are most interested in within an industry, you can get ahead of the curve by finding hot stocks that you might have otherwise overlooked. The industry has been recovering from the debt crisis the past few years, though some analysts are worried that some financial-services firms are beginning to repeat the same mistakes that got them in so much trouble.

The most-watched Financial Services stock is ...
Looking at the aggregate data, we see that Citigroup (NYS: C) is above the rest in terms of watch interest, and for good reason. As Fool analyst Anand Chokkavelu wrote this week:

At a price-to-book ratio of 0.64, Citigroup is trading as almost as cheaply as Bank of America. Unlike Bank of America, Citigroup is turning a profit (its trailing P/E ratio is 12.3), and while it has its own problems, it didn't add to its headache by acquiring a huge, terribly run mortgage specialist. (That would be Bank of America's 2008 purchase of Countrywide.)

Here are the rest of the top 15 most-watched companies in the industry with their watch interest, along with the stocks' CAPS rating to show the sentiment of our investing community.

Rank

Company

Market Cap (Millions)

CAPS Rating (out of 5)

Watch Interest

1Citigroup

$108,721

***

42.6%

2Bank of America (NYS: BAC)

$96,671

***

33.7%

3JPMorgan Chase (NYS: JPM)

$156,017

***

9.7%

4Brookfield Asset Management (NYS: BAM)

$19,582

*****

2.2%

5Leucadia National (NYS: LUK)

$7,956

*****

2.1%

6NYSE Euronext (NYS: NYX)

$8,179

*****

1.0%

7KKR Financial (NYS: KFN)

$1,694

***

0.9%

8Compass Diversified (NAS: CODI)

$704

*****

0.9%

9Life Partners (NAS: LPHI)

$94

**

0.6%

10Moody's (NYS: MCO)

$8,159

**

0.6%

11CME Group (NYS: CME)

$18,766

***

0.6%

12Interactive Brokers (NAS: IBKR)

$636

*****

0.6%

13CBOE (NAS: CBOE)

$2,061

***

0.5%

14Nasdaq OMX Group (NAS: NDAQ)

$4,150

****

0.4%

15Portfolio Recovery Associates (NAS: PRAA)

$1,366

****

0.4%

Sources: The Motley Fool, Motley Fool CAPS.

Whether you're keeping an eye on the industry stalwarts like Citigroup or are watching an up-and-comer like Interactive Brokers, it pays to watch. We can help you keep tabs on your companies with My Watchlist, our free, personalized stock tracking service. Get started now!

FollowDan Dzombakon Twitter at@DanDzombakto check out hismusings and see what articles he finds interesting.

At the time this article was published The Motley Fool owns shares of Interactive Brokers Group, Bank of America, and JPMorgan Chase and has opened a short position on Bank of America.Motley Fool newsletter serviceshave recommended buying shares of NYSE Euronext, Portfolio Recovery Associates, Interactive Brokers Group, Moody's, and Brookfield Asset Management. Try any of our Foolish newsletter servicesfree for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe thatconsidering a diverse range of insightsmakes us better investors. The Motley Fool has adisclosure policy.

Copyright © 1995 - 2011 The Motley Fool, LLC. All rights reserved. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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