American Electric Power ( AEP) pushed the Utilities sector lower today making it today's featured Utilities loser. The sector as a whole closed the day down 0.7%. By the end of trading, American Electric Power fell 74 cents (-1.9%) to $38.72 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 8.1 million shares of American Electric Power exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3.7 million shares. The stock ranged in price between $38.43-$39.59 after having opened the day at $39.53 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $39.46. Other company's within the Utilities sector that declined today were: Dynegy ( DYN), down 8.1%, Pure Cycle Corporation ( PCYO), down 6.3%, Clean Energy Fuels Corporation ( CLNE), down 4.1%, and Ormat Technologies ( ORA), down 4.1%.

American Electric Power Company, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, engages in the generation, transmission, and distribution of electric power to retail customers. The company generates electricity using coal and lignite, natural gas, nuclear, and hydroelectric energy. American Electric Power has a market cap of $18.99 billion and is part of the utilities industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 12.3, above the average utilities industry P/E ratio of 10.5 and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 10.4% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are seven analysts that rate American Electric Power a buy, one analyst rates it a sell, and eight rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates American Electric Power as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, compelling growth in net income, revenue growth, attractive valuation levels and good cash flow from operations. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins.

On the positive front, Consolidated Water Company ( CWCO), up 5.4%, Huaneng Power International ( HNP), up 3.6%, York Water Company ( YORW), up 3.3%, and Artesian Resource Corporation ( ARTNA), up 3.2%, were all gainers within the utilities sector with Calpine ( CPN) being today's featured utilities sector winner.

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 ( XLU) while those bearish on the utilities sector could consider ProShares UltraShort Utilities ( SDP).
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