W.W. Grainger Inc. (GWW): Today's Featured Wholesale Winner

W.W. Grainger ( GWW) pushed the Wholesale industry higher today making it today's featured wholesale winner. The industry as a whole closed the day up 0.1%. By the end of trading, W.W. Grainger rose $3.37 (1.6%) to $212.83 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 912,359 shares of W.W. Grainger exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 396,900 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $208.92-$213 after having opened the day at $210 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $209.46. Other companies within the Wholesale industry that increased today were: CE Franklin ( CFK), up 6.2%, Senomyx ( SNMX), up 5.8%, SinoHub ( SIHI), up 4.9%, and Coast Distribution System ( CRV), up 4.2%.

W.W. Grainger, Inc. engages in the distribution of maintenance, repair, and operating supplies, as well as other related products and services for businesses and institutions primarily in the United States and Canada. W.W. Grainger has a market cap of $14.65 billion and is part of the services sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 22.1, equal to the average wholesale industry P/E ratio and above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 11.9% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are four analysts that rate W.W. Grainger a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and eight rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates W.W. Grainger as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income, revenue growth and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow.

On the negative front, Tessco Technologies ( TESS), down 26.7%, Wayside Technology Group ( WSTG), down 19.4%, Brightpoint ( CELL), down 11.7%, and Nash-Finch Company ( NAFC), down 3.3%, were all losers within the wholesale industry with Omnicare ( OCR) being today's wholesale industry loser.

For investors not wanting singular stock exposure, ETFs may be of interest. Investors who are bullish on the wholesale industry could consider iShares Dow Jones US Cons Goods ( IYK) while those bearish on the wholesale industry could consider ProShares Ultra Sht Consumer Goods ( SZK).