Kroger

(

KR

) pushed the Services sector higher today making it today's featured services winner. The sector as a whole closed the day down 0.8%. By the end of trading, Kroger rose 34 cents (1.6%) to $22.16 on light volume. Throughout the day, 2.8 million shares of Kroger exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 6.1 million shares. The stock ranged in a price between $21.68-$22.27 after having opened the day at $21.75 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $21.82. Other companies within the Services sector that increased today were:

China HGS Real Estate Inc

(

HGSH

), up 36.1%,

China Armco Metals Inc

(

CNAM

), up 21.5%,

Granite City Food & Brewery

(

GCFB

), up 14.2%, and

MTR Gaming Group Inc

(

MNTG

), up 12.9%.

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. It operates supermarkets in various formats. It operates supermarkets in various formats. Kroger has a market cap of $13.06 billion and is part of the

retail

industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 11.3, equal to the average retail industry P/E ratio and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 2.4% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates The Kroger as a

buy

. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, notable return on equity, growth in earnings per share, increase in net income and good cash flow from operations. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had generally poor debt management on most measures that we evaluated.

On the negative front,

Essex Rental

(

ESSX

), down 11.6%,

Saga Communications Inc

(

SGA

), down 11.3%,

SearchMedia Holdings

(

IDI

), down 9.8%, and

SinoHub Inc

(

SIHI

), down 9.6%, were all losers within the services sector with

CVS Caremark

(

CVS

) 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

(

IYC

) while those bearish on the services sector could consider

ProShares Ultra Short Consumer Sers

(

SCC

).

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