Gap Inc. (GPS): Today's Featured Services Winner

Gap ( GPS) pushed the Services sector higher today making it today's featured services winner. The sector as a whole closed the day up 0.7%. By the end of trading, Gap rose 29 cents (0.9%) to $33.75 on average volume. Throughout the day, 5.5 million shares of Gap exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 6.7 million shares. The stock ranged in a price between $33.37-$33.88 after having opened the day at $33.44 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $33.46. Other companies within the Services sector that increased today were: China Distance Education Holdings ( DL), up 21%, Point.360 ( PTSX), up 21%, Best Buy ( BBY), up 13.3%, and Asia Entertainment & Resources ( AERL), up 12.8%.

The Gap, Inc. operates as a specialty retailer. The company offers apparel, accessories, and personal care products for men, women, children, and babies under the Gap, Old Navy, Banana Republic, Piperlime, and Athleta brand names. Gap has a market cap of $16.23 billion and is part of the retail industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 20.3, above the average retail industry P/E ratio of 20.2 and above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 80.4% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are 10 analysts that rate Gap a buy, two analysts rate it a sell, and 11 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Gap as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, revenue growth, good cash flow from operations, growth in earnings per share and expanding profit margins. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.

On the negative front, Bioanalytical Systems ( BASI), down 12.3%, DS Torm ( TRMD), down 11.3%, SUPERVALU ( SVU), down 8.9%, and FreightCar America ( RAIL), down 8.7%, were all laggards within the services sector with Dollar General Corporation ( DG) being today's services sector laggard.

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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