5 Stocks Pushing The Services Sector Higher

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 up today with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) trading up 0 points (0.0%) at 12,985 as of Thursday, Nov. 29, 2012, 11:50 AM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,816 issues advancing vs. 1,058 declining with 142 unchanged.

The Services sector currently sits up 0.7% versus the S&P 500, which is up 0.0%. Top gainers within the sector include New Oriental Education & Technology Group I ( EDU), up 4.4%, Delhaize Group ( DEG), up 4.1%, IAC/InterActiveCorp ( IACI), up 3.5%, Marriott International ( MAR), up 2.6% and Charter Communications ( CHTR), up 2.4%. On the negative front, top decliners within the sector include Liquidity Service ( LQDT), down 18.0%, Kohl's ( KSS), down 7.9%, Tiffany ( TIF), down 7.0%, Advance Auto Parts ( AAP), down 6.0% and Pier 1 Imports ( PIR), down 4.4%.

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

5. Kroger ( KR) is one of the companies pushing the Services sector higher today. As of noon trading, Kroger is up $0.83 (3.3%) to $25.89 on heavy volume Thus far, 6.1 million shares of Kroger exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 5.8 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $25.76-$26.12 after having opened the day at $26.06 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $25.06.

The Kroger Co., together with its subsidiaries, operates as a retailer in the United States. The company also manufactures and processes food for sale in its supermarkets. Kroger has a market cap of $13.1 billion and is part of the retail industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 22.0, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 2.6% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 10 analysts that rate Kroger a buy, 2 analysts rate it a sell, and 5 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Kroger as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, growth in earnings per share and increase in stock price during the past year. 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 Kroger Ratings Report now.

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4. As of noon trading, Norfolk Southern Corporation ( NSC) is up $0.62 (1.0%) to $60.32 on light volume Thus far, 1.2 million shares of Norfolk Southern Corporation exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3.3 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $59.89-$60.44 after having opened the day at $60.04 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $59.71.

Norfolk Southern Corporation, through its subsidiaries, engages in the rail transportation of raw materials, intermediate products, and finished goods primarily in the United States. Norfolk Southern Corporation has a market cap of $18.6 billion and is part of the transportation industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 10.7, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 18.0% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 9 analysts that rate Norfolk Southern Corporation a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 15 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Norfolk Southern Corporation as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its attractive valuation levels, notable return on equity, expanding profit margins and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income. Get the full Norfolk Southern Corporation Ratings Report now.

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3. As of noon trading, FedEx Corporation ( FDX) is up $0.96 (1.1%) to $90.45 on light volume Thus far, 703,491 shares of FedEx Corporation exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2.4 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $89.81-$90.76 after having opened the day at $89.91 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $89.49.

FedEx Corporation provides transportation, e-commerce, and business services in the United States and internationally. It operates in four segments: FedEx Express, FedEx Ground, FedEx Freight, and FedEx Services. FedEx Corporation has a market cap of $27.9 billion and is part of the transportation industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 13.9, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 6.2% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 14 analysts that rate FedEx Corporation a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 6 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates FedEx Corporation as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, attractive valuation levels, good cash flow from operations and increase in stock price during the past year. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins. Get the full FedEx Corporation Ratings Report now.

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2. As of noon trading, United Parcel Service Inc (UPS) Class B ( UPS) is up $1.05 (1.4%) to $73.76 on light volume Thus far, 1.4 million shares of United Parcel Service Inc (UPS) Class B exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 4.5 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $72.97-$73.83 after having opened the day at $73.00 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $72.71.

United Parcel Service, Inc., a package delivery company, provides transportation, logistics, and financial services in the United States and internationally. It operates in three segments: U.S. Domestic Package, International Package, and Supply Chain & Freight. The U.S. United Parcel Service Inc (UPS) Class B has a market cap of $52.2 billion and is part of the transportation industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 21.3, 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 8 analysts that rate United Parcel Service Inc (UPS) Class B a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 10 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates United Parcel Service Inc (UPS) Class B as a buy. Among the primary strengths of the company is its respectable return on equity which we feel is likely to continue. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income. Get the full United Parcel Service Inc (UPS) Class B Ratings Report now.

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1. As of noon trading, MasterCard Incorporated ( MA) is up $6.99 (1.4%) to $488.50 on average volume Thus far, 308,792 shares of MasterCard Incorporated exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 704,100 shares. The stock has ranged in price between $483.24-$489.55 after having opened the day at $484.20 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $481.51.

MasterCard Incorporated, a payments and technology company, together with its subsidiaries, provides transaction processing and other payment-related services in the United States and internationally. MasterCard Incorporated has a market cap of $57.1 billion and is part of the diversified services industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 27.7, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 28.3% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 22 analysts that rate MasterCard Incorporated a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 5 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates MasterCard Incorporated as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, expanding profit margins, growth in earnings per share, increase in net income and good cash flow from operations. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company is trading at a premium valuation based on our review of its current price compared to such things as earnings and book value. Get the full MasterCard Incorporated Ratings Report now.

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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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