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 was unchanged today. By the end of trading, W.W. Grainger rose $6.41 (3.6%) to $185.43 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 1.2 million shares of W.W. Grainger exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 743,100 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $176.50-$186.24 after having opened the day at $176.80 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $179.02. Other companies within the Wholesale industry that increased today were: China Armco Metals ( CNAM), up 8.2%, Bluelinx Holdings ( BXC), up 4.2%, Shengkai Innovations ( VALV), up 4.2%, and TMS International ( TMS), up 3.4%.

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 $13.19 billion and is part of the services sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 19.5, below the average wholesale industry P/E ratio of 19.9 and above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 1.4% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are five analysts that rate W.W. Grainger a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and seven 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, Westinghouse Solar ( WEST), down 3.8%, Aegean Marine Petroleum Network ( ANW), down 3.6%, SinoHub ( SIHI), down 3.6%, and Olympic Steel ( ZEUS), down 3.3%, were all losers within the wholesale industry with Henry Schein ( HSIC) 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).