The retail industry closed the day up 0.2%. Haverty Furniture Companies Inc ( HVT), Stage Stores Inc ( SSI), GNC Acquisition Holdings Inc ( GNC), and Casual Male Retail Group Inc ( CMRG) were all winners today within the retail industry with Home Depot Inc ( HD) being today's featured retail winner. Home Depot Inc rose 33 cents (0.9%) to $35.73 on light volume. Throughout the day, 9.2 million shares of Home Depot Inc exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 15.2 million shares.

The Home Depot Inc., together with its subsidiaries, operates as a home improvement retailer. The company's stores sell a range of building materials, home improvement products, and lawn and garden products to do-it-yourself, do-it-for-me (D-I-F-M), and professional customers. Home Depot Inc has a market cap of $56.4 billion and is part of the services sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 16.1, equal to the average retail industry P/E ratio and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 1% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Home Depot as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, solid stock price performance, impressive record of earnings per share growth, good cash flow from operations and increase in net income. 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, QKL Stores Inc ( QKLS), New York & Company Inc ( NWY), Duckwall-Alco Stores Inc ( DUCK), and China Nepstar Chain Drugstore ( NPD) were all losers within the retail industry with Whirlpool Corporation ( WHR) being today's retail industry Loser Spotlight stock.

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).