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) pushed the Utilities sector higher today making it today's featured utilities winner. The sector as a whole closed the day down 0.3%. By the end of trading, PPL rose $0.36 (1.1%) to $31.68 on light volume. Throughout the day, 3,499,347 shares of PPL exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 5,824,700 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $31.24-$31.72 after having opened the day at $31.25 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $31.33. Other companies within the Utilities sector that increased today were:

GreenHunter Resources



), up 3.9%,

Beacon Power



), up 3.8%,

U.S. Geothermal



), up 3.1% and

Huaneng Power International



), up 3.0%.

PPL Corporation, an energy and utility holding company, engages in the generation, transmission, distribution, and sale of electricity to wholesale and retail customers in the United States and the United Kingdom. The company operates in four segments: Kentucky Regulated, U.K. PPL has a market cap of $18.5 billion and is part of the utilities industry. Shares are up 9.2% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are 3 analysts that rate PPL a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 9 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates


as a


. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its expanding profit margins, increase in stock price during the past year, attractive valuation levels and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat weak growth in earnings per share.

On the negative front,

American DG Energy



), down 7.1%,

Just Energy Group



), down 4.0%,

American Midstream Partners



), down 3.5% and

Centrais Eletricas Brasileiras



), down 3.4% , were all laggards within the utilities sector with

NRG Energy



) being today's utilities sector laggard.

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



) while those bearish on the utilities sector could consider

ProShares UltraShort Utilities




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