5 Stocks Pushing The Computer Software & Services Industry 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 83 points (0.6%) at 13,218 as of Monday, Dec. 17, 2012, 11:50 AM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,927 issues advancing vs. 999 declining with 148 unchanged.

The Computer Software & Services industry currently sits up 0.5% versus the S&P 500, which is up 0.8%. Top gainers within the industry include Compuware Corporation ( CPWR), up 13.9%, Oracle Corporation ( ORCL), up 1.1% and Accenture ( ACN), up 0.8%.

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

5. Autodesk ( ADSK) is one of the companies pushing the Computer Software & Services industry higher today. As of noon trading, Autodesk is up $0.92 (2.7%) to $35.13 on light volume Thus far, 992,629 shares of Autodesk exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2.7 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $34.21-$35.15 after having opened the day at $34.24 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $34.21.

Autodesk, Inc. provides design software and services to customers worldwide. Autodesk has a market cap of $7.6 billion and is part of the technology sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 21.4, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 11.7% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are 4 analysts that rate Autodesk a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 10 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Autodesk as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, good cash flow from operations and expanding profit margins. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income. Get the full Autodesk Ratings Report now.

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4. As of noon trading, Intuit ( INTU) is up $0.75 (1.2%) to $60.93 on light volume Thus far, 408,041 shares of Intuit exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1.8 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $60.04-$60.99 after having opened the day at $60.23 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $60.18.

Intuit Inc. provides business and financial management solutions for small businesses, consumers, accounting professionals, and financial institutions primarily in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, India, and Singapore. Intuit has a market cap of $17.8 billion and is part of the technology sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 23.6, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 14.2% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are 9 analysts that rate Intuit a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 6 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Intuit as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, increase in stock price during the past year, growth in earnings per share, compelling growth in net income and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow. Get the full Intuit Ratings Report now.

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3. As of noon trading, Automatic Data Processing ( ADP) is up $0.57 (1.0%) to $57.97 on light volume Thus far, 556,489 shares of Automatic Data Processing exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1.9 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $57.06-$58.00 after having opened the day at $57.32 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $57.40.

Automatic Data Processing, Inc. provides business outsourcing solutions. The company operates in three segments: Employer Services, Professional Employer Organization (PEO) Services, and Dealer Services. Automatic Data Processing has a market cap of $28.0 billion and is part of the technology sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 20.3, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 6.3% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are 10 analysts that rate Automatic Data Processing a buy, 2 analysts rate it a sell, and 11 rate it a hold.

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

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2. As of noon trading, Salesforce.com ( CRM) is up $2.31 (1.4%) to $169.12 on average volume Thus far, 959,852 shares of Salesforce.com exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1.8 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $164.66-$169.64 after having opened the day at $164.77 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $166.81.

salesforce.com, inc provides cloud computing and social enterprise solutions to various businesses and industries worldwide. The company delivers customer relationship management applications through Internet or cloud. Salesforce.com has a market cap of $23.7 billion and is part of the technology sector. Shares are up 64.4% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are 28 analysts that rate Salesforce.com a buy, 2 analysts rate it a sell, and 1 rates it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Salesforce.com as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, solid stock price performance and expanding profit margins. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including deteriorating net income, disappointing return on equity and weak operating cash flow. Get the full Salesforce.com Ratings Report now.

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1. As of noon trading, Microsoft Corporation ( MSFT) is up $0.26 (0.9%) to $27.06 on light volume Thus far, 13.3 million shares of Microsoft Corporation exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 55.5 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $26.68-$27.11 after having opened the day at $26.79 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $26.81.

Microsoft Corporation develops, licenses, and supports software products and services; and designs and sells hardware worldwide. Microsoft Corporation has a market cap of $228.2 billion and is part of the technology sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 14.7, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 3.3% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are 20 analysts that rate Microsoft Corporation a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 8 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Microsoft Corporation as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, attractive valuation levels, expanding profit margins, notable return on equity 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 Microsoft Corporation 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 computer software & services industry could consider iShares S&P NA Tech Software Idx ( IGV) while those bearish on the computer software & services industry could consider ProShares Ultra Short Technology ( REW).

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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