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 down today with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) trading down 28 points (-0.2%) at 13,217 as of Thursday, Dec. 13, 2012, 12:05 PM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,125 issues advancing vs. 1,742 declining with 157 unchanged.

The Services sector currently sits up 0.3% versus the S&P 500, which is down 0.3%. Top gainers within the sector include Best Buy ( BBY), up 14.8%, United Continental Holdings ( UAL), up 5.3%, Delta Air Lines ( DAL), up 3.9%, J.C. Penney ( JCP), up 3.7% and Staples ( SPLS), up 2.0%. On the negative front, top decliners within the sector include Expedia ( EXPE), down 2.4%, O'Reilly Automotive ( ORLY), down 1.8%, Royal Caribbean Cruises ( RCL), down 1.4%, Fidelity National Information Services ( FIS), down 1.2% and Moody's Corporation ( MCO), down 1.0%.

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

5. Target ( TGT) is one of the companies pushing the Services sector higher today. As of noon trading, Target is up $0.72 (1.2%) to $61.26 on average volume Thus far, 1.7 million shares of Target exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 4.3 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $60.56-$61.27 after having opened the day at $60.63 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $60.54.

Target Corporation operates general merchandise stores in the United States. Target has a market cap of $40.0 billion and is part of the retail industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 13.7, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 19.9% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 12 analysts that rate Target a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 5 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Target as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, solid stock price performance, 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 has had generally high debt management risk by most measures that we evaluated. Get the full Target Ratings Report now.

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4. As of noon trading, Dollar General Corporation ( DG) is up $0.56 (1.3%) to $44.95 on average volume Thus far, 4.1 million shares of Dollar General Corporation exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 6.2 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $44.28-$45.28 after having opened the day at $44.32 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $44.39.

Dollar General Corporation operates as a discount retailer primarily in the southern, southwestern, midwestern, and eastern United States. Dollar General Corporation has a market cap of $14.3 billion and is part of the retail industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 15.7, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 4.4% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 13 analysts that rate Dollar General Corporation a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 5 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Dollar General Corporation as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income, notable return on equity and good cash flow from operations. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins. Get the full Dollar General Corporation Ratings Report now.

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3. As of noon trading, CVS Caremark ( CVS) is up $1.05 (2.2%) to $48.59 on heavy volume Thus far, 10.0 million shares of CVS Caremark exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 6.3 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $48.27-$49.80 after having opened the day at $49.30 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $47.54.

CVS Caremark Corporation provides pharmacy health care services in the United States. CVS Caremark has a market cap of $59.3 billion and is part of the retail industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 16.0, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 16.6% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 16 analysts that rate CVS Caremark a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 2 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates CVS Caremark as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, solid stock price performance, impressive record of earnings per share growth, increase in net income 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. Get the full CVS Caremark Ratings Report now.

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2. As of noon trading, Lowe's Companies ( LOW) is up $0.19 (0.6%) to $34.92 on light volume Thus far, 2.7 million shares of Lowe's Companies exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 12.1 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $34.74-$35.22 after having opened the day at $34.79 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $34.73.

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 $39.2 billion and is part of the retail industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 20.7, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 37.2% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 12 analysts that rate Lowe's Companies a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 9 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, increase in net income, revenue growth, reasonable valuation levels 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 Lowe's Companies Ratings Report now.

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1. As of noon trading, Wal-Mart Stores ( WMT) is up $0.34 (0.5%) to $69.28 on average volume Thus far, 5.3 million shares of Wal-Mart Stores exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 7.9 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $69.00-$69.36 after having opened the day at $69.04 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $68.94.

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. operates retail stores in various formats worldwide. It operates retail stores, restaurants, discount stores, supermarkets, supercenters, hypermarkets, warehouse clubs, apparel stores, Sam's Clubs, and neighborhood markets, as well as walmart.com; and samsclub.com. Wal-Mart Stores has a market cap of $237.1 billion and is part of the retail industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 14.6, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 15.4% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 10 analysts that rate Wal-Mart Stores a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 10 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Wal-Mart Stores as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, growth in earnings per share, revenue growth, good cash flow from operations and increase in net income. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins. Get the full Wal-Mart Stores 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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