Editor's Note: Any reference to TheStreet Ratings and its underlying recommendation does not reflect the opinion of TheStreet, Inc. or any of its contributors including Jim Cramer or Stephanie Link.

All three major indices traded up today with the

Dow Jones Industrial Average

(

^DJI

) trading up 275 points (1.6%) at 16,994 as of Wednesday, Oct. 8, 2014, 4:20 PM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 2,500 issues advancing vs. 612 declining with 106 unchanged.

The Materials & Construction industry as a whole closed the day up 1.2% versus the S&P 500, which was up 1.7%. Top gainers within the Materials & Construction industry included

Perma-Fix Environmental Services

(

PESI

), up 1.9%,

Ecology and Environment

(

EEI

), up 2.7%,

James Hardie Industries

(

JHX

), up 3.5%,

Abengoa

(

ABGB

), up 3.0% and

UCP

(

UCP

), up 4.0%.

TheStreet Ratings Group would like to highlight 3 stocks pushing the industry higher today:

James Hardie Industries

(

JHX

) is one of the companies that pushed the Materials & Construction industry higher today. James Hardie Industries was up $1.78 (3.5%) to $52.95 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 8,852 shares of James Hardie Industries exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3,600 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $51.41-$52.95 after having opened the day at $51.64 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $51.17.

James Hardie Industries has a market cap of $4.7 billion and is part of the industrial goods sector. Shares are down 10.8% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more.

At the close,

Ecology and Environment

(

EEI

) was up $0.26 (2.7%) to $9.93 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 11,052 shares of Ecology and Environment exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 5,500 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $9.67-$9.93 after having opened the day at $9.67 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $9.67.

Ecology and Environment, Inc., an environmental consulting firm, provides professional services to the government and private sectors worldwide. Ecology and Environment has a market cap of $25.6 million and is part of the industrial goods sector. Shares are down 12.1% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are no analysts who rate Ecology and Environment a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and none rate it a hold.

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more.

TheStreet Ratings rates Ecology and Environment as a

sell

. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its disappointing return on equity, weak operating cash flow and generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself.

Highlights from TheStreet Ratings analysis on EEI go as follows:

  • Return on equity has greatly decreased when compared to its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a signal of major weakness within the corporation. Compared to other companies in the Commercial Services & Supplies industry and the overall market, ECOLOGY AND ENVIRONMENT INC's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • Net operating cash flow has decreased to $1.30 million or 33.79% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, when comparing the cash generation rate to the industry average, the firm's growth is significantly lower.
  • EEI has underperformed the S&P 500 Index, declining 15.82% from its price level of one year ago. Turning toward the future, the fact that the stock has come down in price over the past year should not necessarily be interpreted as a negative; it could be one of the factors that may help make the stock attractive down the road. Right now, however, we believe that it is too soon to buy.
  • The company, on the basis of net income growth from the same quarter one year ago, has significantly underperformed compared to the Commercial Services & Supplies industry average, but is greater than that of the S&P 500. The net income increased by 26.8% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from -$0.44 million to -$0.32 million.
  • EEI, with its decline in revenue, slightly underperformed the industry average of 4.5%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 2.2%. The declining revenue has not hurt the company's bottom line, with increasing earnings per share.

You can view the full analysis from the report here:

Ecology and Environment Ratings Report

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more.

Perma-Fix Environmental Services

(

PESI

) was another company that pushed the Materials & Construction industry higher today. Perma-Fix Environmental Services was up $0.07 (1.9%) to $3.77 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 53,882 shares of Perma-Fix Environmental Services exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 12,100 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $3.65-$3.88 after having opened the day at $3.67 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $3.70.

Perma-Fix Environmental Services, Inc., through its subsidiaries, operates as an environmental and technology know-how company in the United States. It operates through two segments, Treatment and Services. Perma-Fix Environmental Services has a market cap of $43.5 million and is part of the industrial goods sector. Shares are up 19.0% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are no analysts who rate Perma-Fix Environmental Services a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 1 rates it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Perma-Fix Environmental Services as a

sell

. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its disappointing return on equity, poor profit margins, weak operating cash flow and feeble growth in its earnings per share.

Highlights from TheStreet Ratings analysis on PESI go as follows:

  • Return on equity has greatly decreased when compared to its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a signal of major weakness within the corporation. Compared to other companies in the Commercial Services & Supplies industry and the overall market, PERMA-FIX ENVIRONMENTAL SVCS's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • The gross profit margin for PERMA-FIX ENVIRONMENTAL SVCS is rather low; currently it is at 19.90%. It has decreased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 0.08% significantly trails the industry average.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly decreased to -$4.38 million or 187.13% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, when comparing to the industry average, the firm's growth rate is much lower.
  • PERMA-FIX ENVIRONMENTAL SVCS has experienced a steep decline in earnings per share in the most recent quarter in comparison to its performance from the same quarter a year ago. The company has reported a trend of declining earnings per share over the past two years. However, the consensus estimate suggests that this trend should reverse in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, PERMA-FIX ENVIRONMENTAL SVCS reported poor results of -$3.03 versus -$0.30 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings (-$0.46 versus -$3.03).
  • The company, on the basis of net income growth from the same quarter one year ago, has significantly underperformed compared to the Commercial Services & Supplies industry average, but is greater than that of the S&P 500. The net income increased by 101.3% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from -$0.88 million to $0.01 million.

You can view the full analysis from the report here:

Perma-Fix Environmental Services Ratings Report

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more.

Editor's Note: Any reference to TheStreet Ratings and its underlying recommendation does not reflect the opinion of TheStreet, Inc. or any of its contributors including Jim Cramer or Stephanie Link.