5 Stocks Pushing The Retail 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 42 points (0.3%) at 14,338 as of Thursday, March 7, 2013, 11:50 AM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,674 issues advancing vs. 1,197 declining with 153 unchanged.

The Retail industry currently sits up 0.6% versus the S&P 500, which is up 0.2%. Top gainers within the industry include Delhaize Group ( DEG), up 4.5%, and AutoZone ( AZO), up 1.1%. A company within the industry that fell today was Lowe's Companies ( LOW), up 1.3%.

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

5. Kroger ( KR) is one of the companies pushing the Retail industry higher today. As of noon trading, Kroger is up $1.10 (3.8%) to $30.46 on heavy volume Thus far, 4.1 million shares of Kroger exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3.9 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $29.83-$30.62 after having opened the day at $30.03 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $29.36.

The Kroger Co., together with its subsidiaries, operates as a retailer in the United States. The company also manufactures and processes food for sale in its supermarkets. Kroger has a market cap of $15.3 billion and is part of the services sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 21.1, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 12.8% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 8 analysts that rate Kroger a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 6 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Kroger as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, increase in net income, good cash flow from operations, solid stock price performance and growth in earnings per share. 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 Kroger Ratings Report now.

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4. As of noon trading, O'Reilly Automotive ( ORLY) is up $1.45 (1.4%) to $104.89 on light volume Thus far, 276,547 shares of O'Reilly Automotive exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1.3 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $103.14-$104.90 after having opened the day at $103.76 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $103.44.

O'Reilly Automotive, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, engages in the retail of automotive aftermarket parts, tools, supplies, equipment, and accessories in the United States. O'Reilly Automotive has a market cap of $11.6 billion and is part of the services sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 22.0, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 16.9% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 12 analysts that rate O'Reilly Automotive a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 7 rate it a hold.

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

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3. As of noon trading, Whole Foods Market ( WFM) is up $0.94 (1.1%) to $86.43 on light volume Thus far, 718,627 shares of Whole Foods Market exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2.0 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $85.37-$86.44 after having opened the day at $85.58 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $85.49.

Whole Foods Market, Inc. owns and operates a chain of natural and organic foods supermarkets. The company offers produce, grocery, meat and poultry, seafood, bakery, prepared foods and catering, coffee and tea, nutritional supplements, and vitamins. Whole Foods Market has a market cap of $15.9 billion and is part of the services sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 32.3, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 6.0% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 16 analysts that rate Whole Foods Market a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 7 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Whole Foods Market 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, impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income and good cash flow from operations. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company is trading at a premium valuation based on our review of its current price compared to such things as earnings and book value. Get the full Whole Foods Market Ratings Report now.

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2. As of noon trading, Gap ( GPS) is up $1.25 (3.6%) to $35.71 on heavy volume Thus far, 5.7 million shares of Gap exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 5.3 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $34.27-$35.91 after having opened the day at $34.44 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $34.46.

The Gap, Inc. operates as a specialty retailer. The company offers apparel, accessories, and personal care products for men, women, children, and babies under the Gap, Old Navy, Banana Republic, Piperlime, and Athleta brand names. Gap has a market cap of $16.5 billion and is part of the services sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 14.8, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 11.0% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 9 analysts that rate Gap a buy, 3 analysts rate it a sell, and 10 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Gap 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, 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 Gap Ratings Report now.

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1. As of noon trading, Macy's ( M) is up $0.38 (0.9%) to $41.46 on light volume Thus far, 1.3 million shares of Macy's exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 5.4 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $40.96-$41.54 after having opened the day at $41.12 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $41.08.

Macy's, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, operates stores and Internet Websites in the United States. Its retail stores and Internet Web sites sell a range of merchandise, including apparel and accessories for men, women, and children; cosmetics; home furnishings; and other consumer goods. Macy's has a market cap of $16.5 billion and is part of the services sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 12.1, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 5.3% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 9 analysts that rate Macy's a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 4 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Macy's as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its increase in stock price during the past year, growth in earnings per share, revenue growth, notable return on equity and expanding profit margins. 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 Macy's 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 retail industry could consider SPDR S&P Retail ETF ( XRT) while those bearish on the retail industry could consider ProShares Ultra Sht Consumer Goods ( SZK).

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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