Duke Energy Corporation

(

DUK

) pushed the Utilities sector higher today making it today's featured utilities winner. The sector as a whole closed the day up 3.1%. By the end of trading, Duke Energy Corporation rose 64 cents (3.2%) to $20.85 on average volume. Throughout the day, 13.8 million shares of Duke Energy Corporation exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 14.5 million shares. The stock ranged in a price between $20.46-$20.85 after having opened the day at $20.47 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $20.21. Other companies within the Utilities sector that increased today were:

Evergreen Energy Inc

(

EEE

), up 19.3%,

GreenHunter Energy Inc

(

GRH

), up 10%,

Dynegy Inc

(

DYN

), up 8.9%, and

Clean Energy Fuels Corporation

(

CLNE

), up 7.7%.

Duke Energy Corporation operates as an energy company in the Americas. It operates through three segments: U.S. Franchised Electric and Gas, Commercial Power, and International Energy. The U.S. Duke Energy Corporation has a market cap of $26.37 billion and is part of the

utilities

industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 14.5, above the average utilities industry P/E ratio of 14.3 and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 13.5% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Duke Energy as a

buy

. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, expanding profit margins, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, solid stock price performance and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.

For investors not wanting singular stock exposure, ETFs may be of interest. Investors who are bullish on the utilities sector could consider

Utilities Select Sector SPDR

(

XLU

) while those bearish on the utilities sector could consider

ProShares UltraShort Utilities

(

SDP

).

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