5 Services Stocks Nudging The 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

Two out of the three major indices are trading up today with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) trading down 3 points (0.0%) at 14,544 as of Monday, April 22, 2013, 12:50 PM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,423 issues advancing vs. 1,490 declining with 125 unchanged.

The Services sector currently sits down 0.21 versus the S&P 500, which is up 0.3%. Top gainers within the sector include Delhaize Group ( DEG), up 11.1%, Netflix ( NFLX), up 5.6%, Six Flags Entertainment ( SIX), up 5.3%, Fleetcor Technologies ( FLT), up 2.1% and Companhia Brasileira De Distribuicao ( CBD), up 2.1%. On the negative front, top decliners within the sector include Grupo Aeroportuario del Sureste S.A.B. de ( ASR), down 6.08, Gap ( GPS), down 1.78, Genuine Parts Company ( GPC), down 1.49, Tyco International ( TYC), down 1.12 and McDonald's Corporation ( MCD), down 0.83.

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

5. Kroger ( KR) is one of the companies pushing the Services sector higher today. As of noon trading, Kroger is up $0.47 (1.39) to $34.18 on light volume Thus far, 1.5 million shares of Kroger exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 4.2 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $33.69-$34.18 after having opened the day at $33.70 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $33.71.

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. It operates retail food and drug stores, multi-department stores, jewelry stores, and convenience stores. Kroger has a market cap of $17.6 billion and is part of the retail industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 12.2, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 29.6% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday.

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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4. As of noon trading, Safeway ( SWY) is up $0.65 (2.45) to $27.20 on average volume Thus far, 2.7 million shares of Safeway exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 6.2 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $26.41-$27.21 after having opened the day at $26.59 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $26.55.

Safeway Inc., together with its subsidiaries, operates as a food and drug retailer in North America. Safeway has a market cap of $6.4 billion and is part of the retail industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 11.7, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 46.8% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Safeway 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, increase in net income, revenue growth 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 Safeway Ratings Report now.

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3. As of noon trading, Whole Foods Market ( WFM) is up $0.86 (1.00) to $86.93 on average volume Thus far, 948,035 shares of Whole Foods Market exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2.3 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $85.71-$86.96 after having opened the day at $86.00 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $86.07.

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 $15.8 billion and is part of the retail industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 32.1, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 6.7% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday.

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 has had lackluster performance in the stock itself. Get the full Whole Foods Market Ratings Report now.

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2. As of noon trading, Starbucks Corporation ( SBUX) is up $0.36 (0.62) to $58.77 on light volume Thus far, 1.3 million shares of Starbucks Corporation exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 5.5 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $57.98-$58.84 after having opened the day at $58.42 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $58.40.

Starbucks Corporation operates as a roaster, marketer, and retailer of specialty coffee worldwide. As of September 30, 2012, the company operated 9,405 company-operated stores and 8,661 licensed stores. Starbucks Corporation has a market cap of $43.2 billion and is part of the leisure industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 31.0, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 7.6% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Starbucks Corporation 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, notable return on equity, good cash flow from operations and growth in earnings per share. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself. Get the full Starbucks Corporation Ratings Report now.

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1. As of noon trading, News Corporation ( NWSA) is up $0.26 (0.83) to $31.47 on light volume Thus far, 5.3 million shares of News Corporation exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 16.3 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $31.00-$31.52 after having opened the day at $31.22 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $31.21.

News Corporation operates as a diversified media company worldwide. News Corporation has a market cap of $46.5 billion and is part of the media industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 17.6, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 19.3% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday.

TheStreet Ratings rates News Corporation as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its compelling growth in net income, revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, solid stock price performance and good cash flow from operations. Although the company may harbor some minor weaknesses, we feel they are unlikely to have a significant impact on results. Get the full News Corporation Ratings Report now.

Exclusive Offer: Jim Cramer's 'go-to' small/mid-cap guru Bryan Ashenberg only buys stocks he thinks could return 50-100%. See his top picks for 14-days FREE.

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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