Investors are Buying DeVry and MFA Financial as Stocks Head Down

A few for-profit education stocks and a mortgage backed securities firm are helping the Services (NYSE:IYC) sector today. Long time Wall St. Cheat Sheet readers know to watch stock prices because Technicals on the Stock Chart are Strong’ is one of the ‘T’s in our CHEAT SHEET investing framework.

DeVry Inc. (NYSE:DV) is one of the top price gainers. Its stock price is $41.06, which is 32 cents (+0.8%) above the previous close of $40.74. Through its wholly-owned subsidiaries, DeVry, Inc. owns and operates DeVry University, Chamberlain College of Nursing, U.S. Education, Ross University, Becker Professional Education and Advanced Academics.

Stock Price Performance: From July 8, 2011, to September 2, 2011, the stock price had fallen $21.85 (-34.9%) from $62.59 to $40.74. The stock price saw one of its best stretches over the last year between March 16, 2011 and March 28, 2011 when shares rose for nine straight trading days, rising 9.1% (+$4.59). It saw one of its worst periods between July 29, 2011 and August 8, 2011 when shares fell for seven straight trading days, falling 15.3% (-$9.50).

The rest of the for-profit sector is worth watching today. Keep your eye on Apollo Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:APOL), Career Education Corp. (NASDAQ:CECO), American Public Education, Inc. (NASDAQ:APEI), National American Univ. Hldgs., Inc. (NASDAQ:NAUH), DeVry Inc. (NYSE:DV), Grand Canyon Education Inc (NASDAQ:LOPE), Education Management Corp (NASDAQ:EDMC), Strayer Education, Inc. (NASDAQ:STRA), Bridgepoint Education, Inc. (NYSE:BPI), and Lincoln Educational Services Corp. (NASDAQ:LINC).

Shares of MFA Financial, Inc. (NYSE:MFA) are trading at $7.09, up 5 cents (+0.7%) from the previous close of $7.04. MFA Financial, Inc. is engaged in the business of investing, on a leveraged basis, in residential Agency and Non-Agency MBS.

Stock Price Performance: From July 8, 2011, to September 2, 2011, the stock price had fallen $1.05 (-13%) from $8.09 to $7.04. It saw one of its worst periods between April 4, 2011 and April 12, 2011 when shares fell for seven straight trading days, falling 4% (-31 cents). The stock price saw one of its best stretches over the last year between June 30, 2011 and July 8, 2011 when shares rose for six straight trading days, rising 3.7% (+29 cents).

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