5 Stocks Boosting The Services Sector Higher

Editor's Note: Any reference to TheStreet Ratings and its underlying recommendation does not reflect the opinion of TheStreet, Inc. or any of its contributors including Jim Cramer or Stephanie Link.

All three major indices are trading up today with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) trading up 15 points (0.1%) at 15,467 as of Wednesday, July 17, 2013, 12:50 PM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,986 issues advancing vs. 913 declining with 127 unchanged.

The Services sector currently sits up 0.2% versus the S&P 500, which is up 0.3%. Top gainers within the sector include United Rentals ( URI), up 8.0%, United Continental Holdings ( UAL), up 4.9%, Net Servicos De Comunicacao ( NETC), up 4.2%, Portfolio Recovery Associates ( PRAA), up 3.6% and LATAM Airlines Group S.A ( LFL), up 3.1%. On the negative front, top decliners within the sector include New Oriental Education & Technology Group I ( EDU), down 2.9%, Pandora Media ( P), down 2.5%, J.C. Penney ( JCP), down 2.4%, Delhaize Group ( DEG), down 1.3% and Best Buy ( BBY), down 1.3%.

TheStreet 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 $0.33 (0.9%) to $38.46 on light volume. Thus far, 1.2 million shares of Kroger exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3.9 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $38.04-$38.51 after having opened the day at $38.21 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $38.13.

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 $19.6 billion and is part of the retail industry. Shares are up 46.5% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 7 analysts that rate Kroger a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 4 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Kroger 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 Kroger Ratings Report now.

3x UPSIDE POTENTIAL: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12-months. Learn more.

4. As of noon trading, TJX Companies ( TJX) is up $0.27 (0.5%) to $52.53 on average volume. Thus far, 1.5 million shares of TJX Companies exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3.4 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $52.33-$52.66 after having opened the day at $52.40 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $52.26.

The TJX Companies, Inc. operates as an off-price apparel and home fashions retailer in the United States and internationally. The company operates in four segments: Marmaxx, HomeGoods, TJX Canada, and TJX Europe. TJX Companies has a market cap of $37.6 billion and is part of the retail industry. Shares are up 23.1% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 14 analysts that rate TJX Companies a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 9 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates TJX Companies as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its growth in earnings per share, revenue growth, notable return on equity, increase in stock price during the past year 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 TJX Companies Ratings Report now.

3x UPSIDE POTENTIAL: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12-months. Learn more.

3. As of noon trading, Liberty Global ( LBTYA) is up $1.59 (2.0%) to $81.35 on average volume. Thus far, 1.3 million shares of Liberty Global exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2.7 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $80.00-$81.49 after having opened the day at $80.16 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $79.76.

Liberty Global plc, an international cable company, provides television, broadband Internet, and telephony services. Liberty Global has a market cap of $11.3 billion and is part of the media industry. Shares are up 26.7% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 6 analysts that rate Liberty Global a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and none rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Liberty Global as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, solid stock price performance, compelling growth in net income, expanding profit margins 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 Liberty Global Ratings Report now.

3x UPSIDE POTENTIAL: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12-months. Learn more.

2. As of noon trading, Target ( TGT) is up $0.39 (0.5%) to $72.46 on light volume. Thus far, 975,688 shares of Target exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 4.3 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $72.00-$72.51 after having opened the day at $72.14 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $72.07.

Target Corporation operates general merchandise stores in the United States. Target has a market cap of $46.4 billion and is part of the retail industry. Shares are up 21.8% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 10 analysts that rate Target a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 9 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Target as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its good cash flow from operations, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures 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 Target Ratings Report now.

3x UPSIDE POTENTIAL: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12-months. Learn more.

1. As of noon trading, United Parcel Service Inc (UPS) Class B ( UPS) is up $0.50 (0.6%) to $86.48 on average volume. Thus far, 1.4 million shares of United Parcel Service Inc (UPS) Class B exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3.7 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $86.25-$86.79 after having opened the day at $86.42 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $85.98.

United Parcel Service, Inc., a package delivery company, provides transportation, logistics, and financial services in the United States and internationally. It operates in three segments: U.S. Domestic Package, International Package, and Supply Chain and Freight. The U.S. United Parcel Service Inc (UPS) Class B has a market cap of $61.9 billion and is part of the transportation industry. Shares are up 16.6% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 10 analysts that rate United Parcel Service Inc (UPS) Class B a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 11 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates United Parcel Service Inc (UPS) Class B as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, growth in earnings per share, increase in net income, notable return on equity and increase in stock price during the past year. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company is trading at a premium valuation based on our review of its current price compared to such things as earnings and book value. Get the full United Parcel Service Inc (UPS) Class B Ratings Report now.

3x UPSIDE POTENTIAL: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12-months. Learn more.

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).

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