Home Depot Inc. (HD): Today's Featured Retail Winner

Home Depot ( HD) pushed the Retail industry higher today making it today's featured retail winner. The industry as a whole closed the day up 1.3%. By the end of trading, Home Depot rose 68 cents (1.3%) to $51.91 on light volume. Throughout the day, 6.4 million shares of Home Depot exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 9.2 million shares. The stock ranged in a price between $51.45-$52.03 after having opened the day at $51.49 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $51.23. Other companies within the Retail industry that increased today were: GNC Acquisition Holdings ( GNC), up 12.4%, E-Commerce China Dangdang ( DANG), up 9.7%, Lumber Liquidators Holdings ( LL), up 6.7%, and J.C. Penney ( JCP), up 5.5%.

The Home Depot, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, operates as a home improvement retailer. The company's stores sell building materials, and home improvement and lawn and garden products to do-it-yourself, do-it-for-me (at D-I-F-M), and professional customers. Home Depot has a market cap of $77.92 billion and is part of the services sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 20.7, equal to the average retail industry P/E ratio and above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 21.9% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 15 analysts that rate Home Depot a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and nine rate it a hold.

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, compelling growth 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, QKL Stores ( QKLS), down 10.7%, Jones Group ( JNY), down 8.1%, China Jo-Jo Drugstores ( CJJD), down 3.8%, and Cache ( CACH), down 3.1%, were all losers within the retail industry with Kroger ( KR) 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).