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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