Home Depot Inc. (HD): Today's Featured Services Loser

Home Depot ( HD) pushed the Services sector lower today making it today's featured Services loser. The sector as a whole closed the day down 1.7%. By the end of trading, Home Depot fell 51 cents (-1%) to $51.96 on average volume. Throughout the day, 8.4 million shares of Home Depot exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of nine million shares. The stock ranged in price between $51.70-$52.36 after having opened the day at $52.29 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $52.47. Other company's within the Services sector that declined today were: Body Central ( BODY), down 48.5%, bebe stores ( BEBE), down 22%, Chefs Warehouse Holdings ( CHEF), down 19.9%, and Arcos Dorados Holdings ( ARCO), down 16.5%.

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 $80.38 billion and is part of the retail industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 21.3, equal to the average retail industry P/E ratio and above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 24.8% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. 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 positive front, Einstein Noah Restaurant Group ( BAGL), up 19%, Peoples Educational Holdings ( PEDH), up 13.7%, InfoSonics Corporation ( IFON), up 13.6%, and AMN Healthcare Services ( AHS), up 13%, were all gainers within the services sector with Corrections Corporation of America ( CXW) being today's featured services sector winner.

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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