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) pushed the Services sector higher today making it today's featured services winner. The sector as a whole closed the day down 0.1%. By the end of trading, Kroger rose 13 cents (0.6%) to $22.92 on average volume. Throughout the day, five million shares of Kroger exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 5.7 million shares. The stock ranged in a price between $22.52-$22.95 after having opened the day at $22.68 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $22.79. Other companies within the Services sector that increased today were:




), up 15.1%,

HMS Holdings Corporation



), up 14.3%,

American Reprographics Company



), up 12.7%, and

TheStreet Recommends

Emmis Communications



), up 12.2%.

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The Kroger Co., together with its subsidiaries, operates as a retailer in the United States. The company also manufactures and processes food for sale in its supermarkets. Kroger has a market cap of $12.64 billion and is part of the


industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 20.9, equal to the average retail industry P/E ratio and above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 6.9% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are nine analysts that rate Kroger a buy, two analysts rate it a sell, and seven rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Kroger as a


. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, good cash flow from operations, growth in earnings per share and increase in net income. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself.

On the negative front,

China HGS Real Estate



), down 16.7%,

Seanergy Maritime Holdings



), down 12.1%,

Spar Group



), down 11.2%, and




), down 10.4%, were all losers within the services sector with

Las Vegas Sands



) being today's services sector loser.

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

iShares Dow Jones US Cons Services



) while those bearish on the services sector could consider

ProShares Ultra Short Consumer Sers