5 Stocks Pushing The Utilities 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 down today with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) trading down 44 points (-0.3%) at 15,515 as of Monday, July 29, 2013, 12:50 PM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 829 issues advancing vs. 2,095 declining with 99 unchanged.

The Utilities sector currently is unchanged today versus the S&P 500, which is down 0.4%. Top gainers within the sector include NextEra Energy ( NEE), up 1.8%, TransCanada ( TRP), up 1.3%, DTE Energy Holding Company ( DTE), up 1.1%, American Electric Power ( AEP), up 1.0% and Consolidated Edison ( ED), up 0.8%. On the negative front, top decliners within the sector include Centrais Eletricas Brasileiras ( EBR.B), down 3.2%, Centrais Eletricas Brasileiras ( EBR), down 3.2% and ONEOK ( OKE), down 1.0%.

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

5. FirstEnergy ( FE) is one of the companies pushing the Utilities sector higher today. As of noon trading, FirstEnergy is up $0.56 (1.4%) to $39.47 on average volume. Thus far, 1.5 million shares of FirstEnergy exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3.1 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $38.72-$39.60 after having opened the day at $38.77 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $38.91.

FirstEnergy Corp., a diversified energy holding company, engages in the generation, transmission, and distribution of electricity in the United States. The company operates in Regulated Distribution, Regulated Transmission, and Competitive Energy Services segments. FirstEnergy has a market cap of $16.0 billion and is part of the utilities industry. Shares are down 8.4% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are 2 analysts that rate FirstEnergy a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 11 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates FirstEnergy as a buy. Among the primary strengths of the company is its generally strong 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 FirstEnergy 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, Edison International ( EIX) is up $0.67 (1.4%) to $49.76 on light volume. Thus far, 672,449 shares of Edison International exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2.7 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $48.94-$49.78 after having opened the day at $49.03 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $49.09.

Edison International, through its subsidiaries, generates and distributes electric power. It also invests in transportation infrastructure and energy assets, including renewable energy in the Netherlands, Australia, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. Edison International has a market cap of $15.9 billion and is part of the utilities industry. Shares are up 8.6% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are 10 analysts that rate Edison International a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 4 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Edison International as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its compelling growth in net income, revenue growth, notable return on equity, 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 shows weak operating cash flow. Get the full Edison International 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, PPL ( PPL) is up $0.34 (1.1%) to $31.67 on light volume. Thus far, 1.5 million shares of PPL exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 5.8 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $31.24-$31.70 after having opened the day at $31.25 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $31.33.

PPL Corporation, an energy and utility holding company, engages in the generation, transmission, distribution, and sale of electricity to wholesale and retail customers in the United States and the United Kingdom. The company operates in four segments: Kentucky Regulated, U.K. PPL has a market cap of $18.5 billion and is part of the utilities industry. Shares are up 9.2% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are 3 analysts that rate PPL a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 9 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates PPL as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its expanding profit margins, increase in stock price during the past year, attractive valuation levels and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat weak growth in earnings per share. Get the full PPL 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, Exelon ( EXC) is up $0.20 (0.6%) to $31.85 on light volume. Thus far, 2.0 million shares of Exelon exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 6.9 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $31.35-$31.87 after having opened the day at $31.44 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $31.65.

Exelon Corporation, a utility services holding company, engages in the energy generation and distribution business in the United States. Exelon has a market cap of $27.0 billion and is part of the utilities industry. Shares are up 6.0% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are 3 analysts that rate Exelon a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 14 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Exelon as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including deteriorating net income, disappointing return on equity and poor profit margins. Get the full Exelon 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, Duke Energy Corporation ( DUK) is up $0.58 (0.8%) to $71.37 on light volume. Thus far, 833,150 shares of Duke Energy Corporation exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3.2 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $70.59-$71.40 after having opened the day at $70.62 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $70.79.

Duke Energy Corporation operates as an energy company in the United States and Latin America. The company operates in three segments: U.S. Franchised Electric and Gas, Commercial Power, and International Energy. The U.S. Duke Energy Corporation has a market cap of $49.8 billion and is part of the utilities industry. Shares are up 10.7% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are 6 analysts that rate Duke Energy Corporation a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 10 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Duke Energy Corporation as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, compelling growth in net income, good cash flow from operations, growth in earnings per share and increase in stock price during the past year. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat disappointing return on equity. Get the full Duke Energy Corporation 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 utilities sector could consider Utilities Select Sector SPDR ( XLU) while those bearish on the utilities sector could consider ProShares UltraShort Utilities ( SDP).

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