Lowe's Companies

(

LOW

) pushed the Retail industry higher today making it today's featured retail winner. The industry as a whole closed the day up 0.7%. By the end of trading, Lowe's Companies rose 70 cents (2.8%) to $26.19 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 29.4 million shares of Lowe's Companies exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 14.8 million shares. The stock ranged in a price between $25.28-$26.28 after having opened the day at $25.31 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $25.49. Other companies within the Retail industry that increased today were:

Talbots

(

TLB

), up 9.9%,

U.S. Auto Parts Network

(

PRTS

), up 7.6%,

Express

(

EXPR

), up 6.6%, and

Guess

(

GES

), up 6.5%.

Lowe's Companies, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, operates as a home improvement retailer. It offers a range of products for maintenance, repair, remodeling, and home decorating. Lowe's Companies has a market cap of $30.69 billion and is part of the

services

sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 16.8, below the average retail industry P/E ratio of 17.9 and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 0.4% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 13 analysts that rate Lowe's Companies a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and nine rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Lowe's Companies as a

buy

. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, solid stock price performance, 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 shows low profit margins.

On the negative front,

Acorn International

(

ATV

), down 7.8%,

China Jo-Jo Drugstores

(

CJJD

), down 5%,

Alon Holdings Blue Square - Israel

(

BSI

), down 4.1%, and

Fresh Market

(

TFM

), down 3.8%, were all losers within the retail industry with

Safeway

(

SWY

) being today's retail industry loser.

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

SPDR S&P Retail ETF

(

XRT

) while those bearish on the retail industry could consider

ProShares Ultra Sht Consumer Goods

(

SZK

).

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