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 25 points (-0.2%) at 14,513 as of Friday, March 15, 2013, 12:49 PM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,309 issues advancing vs. 1,578 declining with 140 unchanged.

The Services sector currently sits up 0.1% versus the S&P 500, which is down 0.1%. Top gainers within the sector include New Oriental Education & Technology Group I ( EDU), up 8.2%, Directv ( DTV), up 6.1%, Safeway ( SWY), up 2.5% and Luxottica Group ( LUX), up 1.6%. On the negative front, top decliners within the sector include Team ( TISI), down 16.8%, Ulta Salon Cosmetics & Fragrances ( ULTA), down 15.6%, Carnival Corporation ( CCL), down 2.4%, Delta Air Lines ( DAL), down 2.5% and J.B. Hunt Transport Services ( JBHT), down 2.0%.

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

5. DISH Network ( DISH) is one of the companies pushing the Services sector higher today. As of noon trading, DISH Network is up $1.36 (4.0%) to $35.59 on heavy volume Thus far, 2.1 million shares of DISH Network exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2.6 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $34.19-$35.68 after having opened the day at $34.19 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $34.23.

DISH Network Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, offers direct broadcast satellite subscription television services in the United States. DISH Network has a market cap of $7.4 billion and is part of the media industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 24.6, 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 Thursday. Currently there are 5 analysts that rate DISH Network a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 4 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates DISH Network as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its notable return on equity, expanding profit margins 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 DISH Network Ratings Report now.

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4. As of noon trading, Kroger ( KR) is up $0.26 (0.8%) to $31.76 on average volume Thus far, 2.2 million shares of Kroger exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 4.0 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $31.35-$31.77 after having opened the day at $31.41 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $31.50.

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 $16.2 billion and is part of the retail industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 12.4, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 21.1% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. 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, notable return on equity, good cash flow from operations, solid stock price performance and compelling growth in net income. 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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3. As of noon trading, Ross Stores ( ROST) is up $0.82 (1.5%) to $56.68 on average volume Thus far, 1.6 million shares of Ross Stores exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2.4 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $55.64-$56.73 after having opened the day at $55.65 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $55.87.

Ross Stores, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, operates off-price retail apparel and home fashion stores under the Ross Dress for Less and dd's DISCOUNTS brand names in the United States. Ross Stores has a market cap of $12.3 billion and is part of the retail industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 16.7, 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 Thursday. Currently there are 11 analysts that rate Ross Stores a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 10 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Ross Stores as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, growth in earnings per share, revenue growth, notable return on equity 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 Ross Stores Ratings Report now.

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2. As of noon trading, Limited Brands ( LTD) is up $0.63 (1.4%) to $45.51 on average volume Thus far, 1.5 million shares of Limited Brands exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3.6 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $44.72-$45.52 after having opened the day at $44.92 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $44.88.

Limited Brands, Inc. operates as a specialty retailer of women's intimate and other apparel, beauty, and personal care products and accessories primarily in the United States and Canada. Limited Brands has a market cap of $12.8 billion and is part of the retail industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 15.3, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 4.6% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 11 analysts that rate Limited Brands a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 10 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Limited Brands as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, increase in net income and growth in earnings per share. However, as a counter to these strengths, we find that the stock has had a generally disappointing performance in the past year. Get the full Limited Brands Ratings Report now.

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1. As of noon trading, CSX ( CSX) is up $0.24 (1.0%) to $24.10 on heavy volume Thus far, 6.8 million shares of CSX exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 9.0 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $23.75-$24.27 after having opened the day at $23.78 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $23.86.

CSX Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, provides rail-based transportation services. It offers traditional rail services, and transports intermodal containers and trailers. CSX has a market cap of $24.1 billion and is part of the transportation industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 13.2, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 20.9% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 12 analysts that rate CSX a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 13 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates CSX as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its attractive valuation levels, expanding profit margins, increase in stock price during the past year and notable return on equity. 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 CSX 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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