5 Stocks Pushing The Services Sector Higher

TheStreet Ratings group would like to highlight 5 stocks pushing the services sector higher today, Nov. 14, 2012.

Editor's Note: TheStreet ratings do not represent the views of TheStreet's staff or its contributors. Ratings are established by computer based on metrics for performance (which includes growth, stock performance, efficiency and valuation) and risk (volatility and solvency). Companies with poor cash flow or high debt levels tend to earn lower ratings in our model

All three major indices are trading down today with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) trading down 47 points (-0.4%) at 12,708 as of Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2012, 11:49 AM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 733 issues advancing vs. 2,191 declining with 116 unchanged.

The Services sector currently sits down 0.5% versus the S&P 500, which is down 0.3%. Top gainers within the sector include Abercrombie & Fitch ( ANF), up 27.3%, Dollar General Corporation ( DG), up 1.5%, Whirlpool Corporation ( WHR), up 1.3%, Kohl's ( KSS), up 1.0% and Directv ( DTV), up 0.5%. On the negative front, top decliners within the sector include Ryanair Holdings ( RYAAY), down 5.3%, Delta Air Lines ( DAL), down 3.2%, United Continental Holdings ( UAL), down 2.6%, eBay ( EBAY), down 1.6% and Sirius XM Radio ( SIRI), down 1.8%.

TheStreet Ratings group would like to highlight 5 stocks pushing the sector higher today:

5. Staples ( SPLS) is one of the companies pushing the Services sector higher today. As of noon trading, Staples is up $0.36 (3.2%) to $11.61 on average volume Thus far, 9.5 million shares of Staples exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 14.2 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $11.44-$11.83 after having opened the day at $11.75 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $11.25.

Staples, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, operates as an office products company. The company offers various office supplies and services, office machines and related products, computers and related products, and office furniture under Staples, Quill, and other proprietary brands. Staples has a market cap of $7.6 billion and is part of the specialty retail industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 8.4, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 20.2% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 6 analysts that rate Staples a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 8 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Staples as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its attractive valuation levels, good cash flow from operations and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including deteriorating net income, poor profit margins and a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself. Get the full Staples Ratings Report now.

4. As of noon trading, Gap ( GPS) is up $0.37 (1.1%) to $34.06 on light volume Thus far, 1.8 million shares of Gap exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 5.2 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $33.94-$34.87 after having opened the day at $34.30 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $33.69.

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 $16.1 billion and is part of the retail industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 18.7, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 80.6% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 10 analysts that rate Gap a buy, 3 analysts rate it a sell, and 10 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Gap as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its increase in net income, revenue growth, solid stock price performance, good cash flow from operations and expanding profit margins. Although the company may harbor some minor weaknesses, we feel they are unlikely to have a significant impact on results. Get the full Gap Ratings Report now.

3. As of noon trading, Macy's ( M) is up $0.37 (0.9%) to $39.45 on average volume Thus far, 2.1 million shares of Macy's exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 4.8 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $39.00-$39.63 after having opened the day at $39.21 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $39.08.

Macy's, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, operates stores and Internet Websites in the United States. Its retail stores and Internet Web sites sell a range of merchandise, including apparel and accessories for men, women, and children; cosmetics; home furnishings; and other consumer goods. Macy's has a market cap of $15.6 billion and is part of the retail industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 12.1, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 20.3% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 10 analysts that rate Macy's a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 4 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Macy's as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, notable return on equity, reasonable valuation levels, expanding profit margins and good cash flow from operations. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had generally high debt management risk by most measures that we evaluated. Get the full Macy's Ratings Report now.

2. As of noon trading, Lowe's Companies ( LOW) is up $0.38 (1.2%) to $32.34 on light volume Thus far, 4.3 million shares of Lowe's Companies exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 12.7 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $32.11-$32.60 after having opened the day at $32.12 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $31.97.

Lowe's Companies, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, operates as a home improvement retailer. It offers a range of products for maintenance, repair, remodeling, and home decorating. Lowe's Companies has a market cap of $36.5 billion and is part of the retail industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 21.0, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 26.0% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 12 analysts that rate Lowe's Companies a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 10 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Lowe's Companies as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income. Get the full Lowe's Companies Ratings Report now.

1. As of noon trading, McDonald's Corporation ( MCD) is up $0.68 (0.8%) to $85.32 on average volume Thus far, 3.1 million shares of McDonald's Corporation exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 5.8 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $84.18-$85.44 after having opened the day at $84.85 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $84.64.

McDonald's Corporation franchises and operates McDonald's restaurants in the global restaurant industry. Its restaurants offer various food items, soft drinks, coffee, and other beverages. McDonald's Corporation has a market cap of $85.2 billion and is part of the leisure industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 16.0, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 15.6% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 14 analysts that rate McDonald's Corporation a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 10 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates McDonald's Corporation as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its expanding profit margins, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself. Get the full McDonald's Corporation Ratings Report now.

If you are interested in one of these 5 stocks, 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).

A reminder about TheStreet Ratings group: TheStreet ratings do not represent the views of TheStreet's staff or its contributors. Ratings are established by computer based on metrics for performance (which includes growth, stock performance, efficiency and valuation) and risk (volatility and solvency). Companies with poor cash flow or high debt levels tend to earn lower ratings in our model.

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