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 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 Services sector currently sits up 0.2% versus the S&P 500, which is up 0.2%. Top gainers within the sector include Hot Topic ( HOTT), up 29.2%, Vail Resorts ( MTN), up 7.2%, John Wiley & Sons ( JW.A), up 6.6%, Gol Intelligent Airlines ( GOL), up 5.8% and Delhaize Group ( DEG), up 4.5%. On the negative front, top decliners within the sector include China Lodging Group ( HTHT), down 12.2%, Meredith Corporation ( MDP), down 6.8%, Ross Stores ( ROST), down 4.9%, Pier 1 Imports ( PIR), down 4.2% and KAR Auction Services ( KAR), down 3.5%.

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

5. MGM Resorts International ( MGM) is one of the companies pushing the Services sector higher today. As of noon trading, MGM Resorts International is up $0.21 (1.7%) to $12.42 on light volume Thus far, 3.3 million shares of MGM Resorts International exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 11.0 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $12.30-$12.44 after having opened the day at $12.34 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $12.21.

MGM Resorts International, through its subsidiaries, owns and operates casino resorts. Its casino resorts offer gaming, hotel, convention, dining, entertainment, retail, and other resort amenities. MGM Resorts International has a market cap of $5.9 billion and is part of the leisure industry. Shares are up 4.9% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 10 analysts that rate MGM Resorts International a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 11 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates MGM Resorts International as a sell. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its deteriorating net income, disappointing return on equity, generally high debt management risk, generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself and feeble growth in its earnings per share. Get the full MGM Resorts International Ratings Report now.

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4. As of noon trading, United Continental Holdings ( UAL) is up $0.35 (1.2%) to $29.65 on light volume Thus far, 1.5 million shares of United Continental Holdings exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 4.9 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $29.11-$29.97 after having opened the day at $29.30 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $29.30.

United Continental Holdings, Inc., through its subsidiaries, provides passenger and cargo air transportation services. The company operates in 6 continents from its hubs in Chicago, Cleveland, Denver, Guam, Houston, Los Angeles, New York/Newark, San Francisco, Tokyo, and Washington, D.C. United Continental Holdings has a market cap of $9.8 billion and is part of the transportation industry. Shares are up 10.2% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 7 analysts that rate United Continental Holdings a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 4 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates United Continental Holdings as a hold. Among the primary strengths of the company is its solid stock price performance. At the same time, however, we also find weaknesses including deteriorating net income, poor profit margins and feeble growth in the company's earnings per share. Get the full United Continental Holdings Ratings Report now.

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3. As of noon trading, J.C. Penney ( JCP) is up $0.41 (2.9%) to $14.84 on heavy volume Thus far, 9.3 million shares of J.C. Penney exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 11.1 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $14.61-$15.26 after having opened the day at $14.77 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $14.43.

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 $3.3 billion and is part of the retail industry. Shares are down 26.8% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 2 analysts that rate J.C. Penney a buy, 5 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 deteriorating net income, disappointing return on equity, poor profit margins, weak operating cash flow and generally high debt management risk. Get the full J.C. Penney Ratings Report now.

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2. As of noon trading, CBS Corporation ( CBS) is up $0.54 (1.2%) to $45.24 on average volume Thus far, 2.9 million shares of CBS Corporation exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 7.3 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $44.48-$45.24 after having opened the day at $44.55 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $44.69.

CBS Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, operates as a mass media company in the United States and internationally. CBS Corporation has a market cap of $26.3 billion and is part of the media industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 18.1, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 17.8% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 19 analysts that rate CBS Corporation a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 4 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates CBS Corporation as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, impressive record of earnings per share growth, notable return on equity, good cash flow from operations and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. Although no company is perfect, currently we do not see any significant weaknesses which are likely to detract from the generally positive outlook. Get the full CBS Corporation Ratings Report now.

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1. As of noon trading, Las Vegas Sands ( LVS) is up $0.32 (0.6%) to $52.32 on light volume Thus far, 1.6 million shares of Las Vegas Sands exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 7.5 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $51.60-$52.45 after having opened the day at $52.08 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $52.00.

Las Vegas Sands Corp., together with its subsidiaries, owns, develops, and operates various integrated resort properties primarily in the United States, Macau, and Singapore. Las Vegas Sands has a market cap of $41.8 billion and is part of the leisure industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 27.4, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 12.7% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 17 analysts that rate Las Vegas Sands a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 3 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Las Vegas Sands as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth and impressive record of earnings per share growth. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself. Get the full Las Vegas Sands 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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