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 23 points (-0.2%) at 13,146 as of Friday, Dec. 14, 2012, 11:50 AM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,344 issues advancing vs. 1,517 declining with 152 unchanged.

The Services sector currently sits up 0.1% versus the S&P 500, which is down 0.3%. Top gainers within the sector include Ctrip.com International ( CTRP), up 6.1%, HMS Holdings Corporation ( HMSY), up 6.0%, Virgin Media ( VMED), up 4.3%, Melco Crown Entertainment ( MPEL), up 3.0% and McGraw-Hill Companies Incorporated ( MHP), up 2.6%. On the negative front, top decliners within the sector include Best Buy ( BBY), down 15.9%, Net Servicos De Comunicacao ( NETC), down 1.7%, CBS Corporation ( CBS), down 1.6%, News Corporation ( NWS), down 1.1% and Dollar General Corporation ( DG), down 0.9%.

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

5. Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide ( HOT) is one of the companies pushing the Services sector higher today. As of noon trading, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide is up $0.64 (1.2%) to $54.11 on light volume Thus far, 626,744 shares of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2.3 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $53.30-$54.20 after having opened the day at $53.30 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $53.47.

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. operates as a hotel and leisure company worldwide. The company operates luxury and upscale full service hotels, select-service hotels, extended stay hotels, resorts, retreats, and residences under St. Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide has a market cap of $10.5 billion and is part of the leisure 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 11.8% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 14 analysts that rate Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 8 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, increase in net income, reasonable 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 has had somewhat disappointing return on equity. Get the full Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Ratings Report now.

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4. As of noon trading, J.C. Penney ( JCP) is up $0.57 (2.7%) to $21.37 on average volume Thus far, 4.7 million shares of J.C. Penney exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 9.6 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $20.62-$21.50 after having opened the day at $20.63 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $20.80.

J. C. Penney Company, Inc., through its subsidiary, J. C. Penney Corporation, Inc., operates department stores in the United States and Puerto Rico. The company sells family apparel and footwear, accessories, fine and fashion jewelry, beauty products, and home furnishings. J.C. Penney has a market cap of $4.3 billion and is part of the retail industry. Shares are down 40.8% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 3 analysts that rate J.C. Penney a buy, 3 analysts rate it a sell, and 9 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates J.C. Penney as a sell. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its disappointing return on equity, poor profit margins, generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself and feeble growth in its earnings per share. Get the full J.C. Penney Ratings Report now.

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3. As of noon trading, FedEx Corporation ( FDX) is up $0.78 (0.9%) to $90.49 on light volume Thus far, 565,040 shares of FedEx Corporation exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2.3 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $89.35-$90.70 after having opened the day at $89.72 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $89.71.

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 $28.2 billion and is part of the transportation industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 14.0, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 7.4% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. 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, Norfolk Southern Corporation ( NSC) is up $0.63 (1.0%) to $61.87 on light volume Thus far, 747,679 shares of Norfolk Southern Corporation exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3.4 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $61.11-$62.08 after having opened the day at $61.11 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $61.24.

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 $19.4 billion and is part of the transportation industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 11.2, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 15.9% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. 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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1. As of noon trading, Walgreen Company ( WAG) is up $0.26 (0.7%) to $36.77 on light volume Thus far, 2.2 million shares of Walgreen Company exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 6.6 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $36.22-$36.80 after having opened the day at $36.46 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $36.51.

Walgreen Co., together with its subsidiaries, operates a network of drugstores in the United States. It provides consumer goods and services, pharmacy, and health and wellness services through drugstores, as well as through mail, and by telephone and online. Walgreen Company has a market cap of $34.7 billion and is part of the retail industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 15.2, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 10.4% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 7 analysts that rate Walgreen Company a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 9 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Walgreen Company as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its good cash flow from operations, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and increase in stock price during the past year. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income. Get the full Walgreen Company 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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