5 Services Stocks Driving 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 79 points (0.5%) at 15,295 as of Wednesday, May 15, 2013, 12:45 PM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,703 issues advancing vs. 1,237 declining with 128 unchanged.

The Services sector currently sits up 0.6% versus the S&P 500, which is up 0.6%. Top gainers within the sector include Liberty Media Corporation ( LMCA), up 17.6%, United Continental Holdings ( UAL), up 4.0%, Delta Air Lines ( DAL), up 4.1%, Netflix ( NFLX), up 4.0% and Sirius XM Radio ( SIRI), up 4.1%. A company within the sector that fell today was Computer Sciences Corporation ( CSC), up 10.28.

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

5. MasterCard Incorporated ( MA) is one of the companies pushing the Services sector higher today. As of noon trading, MasterCard Incorporated is up $4.57 (0.80) to $574.25 on average volume Thus far, 244,476 shares of MasterCard Incorporated exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 572,600 shares. The stock has ranged in price between $569.16-$574.45 after having opened the day at $569.95 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $569.68.

MasterCard Incorporated, together with its subsidiaries, provides transaction processing and other payment-related services in the United States and internationally. MasterCard Incorporated has a market cap of $65.0 billion and is part of the financial services industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 24.4, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 16.0% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 18 analysts that rate MasterCard Incorporated a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 11 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates MasterCard Incorporated as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, impressive record of earnings per share growth, increase in net income, expanding profit margins and good cash flow from operations. 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 MasterCard Incorporated Ratings Report now.

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4. As of noon trading, Lowe's Companies ( LOW) is up $0.37 (0.86) to $43.15 on light volume Thus far, 2.9 million shares of Lowe's Companies exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 8.7 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $42.74-$43.21 after having opened the day at $42.78 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $42.78.

Lowe's Companies, Inc. operates as a home improvement retailer. It offers products for maintenance, repair, remodeling, and home decorating. Lowe's Companies has a market cap of $45.8 billion and is part of the retail industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 24.9, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 20.4% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 10 analysts that rate Lowe's Companies a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 8 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Lowe's Companies as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its notable return on equity and solid stock price performance. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income. Get the full Lowe's Companies Ratings Report now.

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3. As of noon trading, McDonald's Corporation ( MCD) is up $0.77 (0.76) to $101.97 on light volume Thus far, 1.5 million shares of McDonald's Corporation exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 4.7 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $101.30-$102.03 after having opened the day at $101.30 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $101.20.

McDonald's Corporation franchises and operates McDonald's restaurants in the United States, Europe, the Asia/Pacific, the Middle East, Africa, Canada, and Latin America. Its restaurants offer various food items, soft drinks, coffee, and other beverages, as well as breakfast menus. McDonald's Corporation has a market cap of $100.6 billion and is part of the leisure industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 18.6, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 14.7% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 14 analysts that rate McDonald's Corporation a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 10 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates McDonald's Corporation as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, good cash flow from operations, growth in earnings per share, increase in net income and expanding profit margins. 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 McDonald's Corporation Ratings Report now.

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2. As of noon trading, Priceline.com ( PCLN) is up $16.90 (2.14) to $808.04 on heavy volume Thus far, 551,293 shares of Priceline.com exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 651,600 shares. The stock has ranged in price between $789.95-$808.51 after having opened the day at $790.05 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $791.14.

priceline.com Incorporated operates as a online travel company. Priceline.com has a market cap of $38.9 billion and is part of the diversified services industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 26.9, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 25.3% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 14 analysts that rate Priceline.com a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 2 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Priceline.com as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust 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 expanding profit margins. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself. Get the full Priceline.com Ratings Report now.

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1. As of noon trading, Visa ( V) is up $1.70 (0.94) to $181.69 on average volume Thus far, 1.6 million shares of Visa exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3.0 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $179.67-$181.75 after having opened the day at $179.99 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $179.99.

Visa Inc., a payments technology company, engages in the operation of retail electronic payments network worldwide. It facilitates commerce through the transfer of value and information among financial institutions, merchants, consumers, businesses, and government entities. Visa has a market cap of $92.7 billion and is part of the financial services industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 49.4, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 19.0% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 19 analysts that rate Visa a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 10 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Visa 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, expanding profit margins, good cash flow from operations and solid stock price performance. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat disappointing return on equity. Get the full Visa 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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