4 Stocks Pushing The Services Sector Lower

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 17 points (0.1%) at 13,052 as of Thursday, Dec. 6, 2012, 11:50 AM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,459 issues advancing vs. 1,413 declining with 145 unchanged.

The Services sector currently sits up 0.2% versus the S&P 500, which is up 0.2%. On the negative front, top decliners within the sector include UTi Worldwide ( UTIW), down 8.8%, SAIC ( SAI), down 3.0%, Expeditors International of Washington ( EXPD), down 2.0%, CH Robinson Worldwide ( CHRW), down 1.5% and Norfolk Southern Corporation ( NSC), down 0.7%. Top gainers within the sector include New Oriental Education & Technology Group I ( EDU), up 8.0%, AthenaHealth ( ATHN), up 7.1%, MGM Resorts International ( MGM), up 7.0%, Netflix ( NFLX), up 5.1% and Safeway ( SWY), up 4.8%.

TheStreet Ratings group would like to highlight 4 stocks pushing the sector lower today:

4. Ascena Retail Group ( ASNA) is one of the companies pushing the Services sector lower today. As of noon trading, Ascena Retail Group is down $0.72 (-3.6%) to $19.08 on heavy volume Thus far, 2.8 million shares of Ascena Retail Group exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1.6 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $18.76-$19.51 after having opened the day at $19.08 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $19.79.

Ascena Retail Group, Inc., through its subsidiaries, operates as a specialty retailer of apparel for women and tween girls. Its principal retail brands comprise Justice, Lane Bryant, maurices, dressbarn, and Catherines brands. Ascena Retail Group has a market cap of $3.1 billion and is part of the retail industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 18.2, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 163.9% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 6 analysts that rate Ascena Retail Group a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 1 rates it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Ascena Retail Group as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, solid stock price performance, reasonable valuation levels, good cash flow from operations 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 Ascena Retail Group Ratings Report now.

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