5 Technology 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

All three major indices are trading up today with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) trading up 72 points (0.5%) at 14,749 as of Thursday, April 25, 2013, 12:50 PM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 2,049 issues advancing vs. 833 declining with 158 unchanged.

The Technology sector currently sits up 3.0% versus the S&P 500, which is up 0.7%. Top gainers within the sector include Voltari ( VLTC), up 1414.8%, Akamai Technologies ( AKAM), up 20.1%, Yandex ( YNDX), up 13.3%, Crown Castle International ( CCI), up 5.5% and Western Digital Corporation ( WDC), up 4.5%. A company within the sector that fell today was Qualcomm ( QCOM), up 6.06.

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

5. Applied Materials ( AMAT) is one of the companies pushing the Technology sector higher today. As of noon trading, Applied Materials is up $0.48 (3.48) to $14.10 on average volume Thus far, 8.4 million shares of Applied Materials exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 12.7 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $13.67-$14.15 after having opened the day at $13.74 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $13.63.

Applied Materials, Inc. provides manufacturing equipment, services, and software to the semiconductor, flat panel display, solar photovoltaic (PV), and related industries worldwide. Applied Materials has a market cap of $16.1 billion and is part of the electronics industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 447.7, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 17.4% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Applied Materials as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its increase in stock price during the past year, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures 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 Applied Materials Ratings Report now.

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4. As of noon trading, Baidu ( BIDU) is up $4.36 (4.94) to $92.44 on heavy volume Thus far, 3.7 million shares of Baidu exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 4.1 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $89.00-$92.46 after having opened the day at $89.28 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $88.09.

Baidu, Inc. provides Internet search services. Baidu has a market cap of $30.7 billion and is part of the internet industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 18.3, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 12.4% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Baidu as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income, expanding profit margins and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself. Get the full Baidu Ratings Report now.

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3. As of noon trading, Cisco Systems ( CSCO) is up $0.26 (1.28) to $20.65 on average volume Thus far, 17.4 million shares of Cisco Systems exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 34.9 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $20.39-$20.71 after having opened the day at $20.50 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $20.39.

Cisco Systems, Inc. designs, manufactures, and sells Internet protocol (IP) based networking and other products related to the communications and information technology industries worldwide. Cisco Systems has a market cap of $111.5 billion and is part of the computer hardware industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 12.0, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 6.4% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Cisco Systems as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income, revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and notable return on equity. Although the company may harbor some minor weaknesses, we feel they are unlikely to have a significant impact on results. Get the full Cisco Systems Ratings Report now.

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2. As of noon trading, Verizon Communications ( VZ) is up $1.13 (2.18) to $52.93 on heavy volume Thus far, 11.3 million shares of Verizon Communications exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 13.8 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $52.36-$53.20 after having opened the day at $52.48 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $51.80.

Verizon Communications Inc., through its subsidiaries, provides communications, information and entertainment products and services to consumers, businesses, and governmental agencies worldwide. Verizon Communications has a market cap of $151.7 billion and is part of the telecommunications industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 130.8, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 19.7% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Verizon Communications as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, expanding profit margins, 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 Verizon Communications Ratings Report now.

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1. As of noon trading, International Business Machines ( IBM) is up $2.62 (1.37) to $194.33 on average volume Thus far, 2.6 million shares of International Business Machines exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3.9 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $192.32-$194.87 after having opened the day at $192.69 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $191.71.

International Business Machines Corporation provides information technology (IT) products and services worldwide. The company operates in five segments: Global Technology Services, Global Business Services, Software, Systems and Technology, and Global Financing. International Business Machines has a market cap of $213.6 billion and is part of the computer hardware industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 13.1, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 0.1% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates International Business Machines as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its notable return on equity, growth in earnings per share, 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 International Business Machines 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 technology sector could consider Technology Select Sector SPDR ( XLK) while those bearish on the technology sector 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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