3 Stocks Advancing The Utilities Sector

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 11 points (0.1%) at 15,533 as of Tuesday, July 30, 2013, 12:50 PM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,505 issues advancing vs. 1,392 declining with 116 unchanged.

The Utilities sector currently sits down 0.1% versus the S&P 500, which is up 0.2%. Top gainers within the sector include NextEra Energy ( NEE), up 1.4%, Edison International ( EIX), up 0.9%, FirstEnergy ( FE), up 0.7% and Korea Electric Power ( KEP), up 0.6%. On the negative front, top decliners within the sector include TransAlta Corporation ( TAC), down 4.9%, Centrais Eletricas Brasileiras ( EBR), down 3.7%, Centrais Eletricas Brasileiras ( EBR.B), down 2.8%, Empresa Nacional de ElectricidadSA ( EOC), down 1.8% and Enersis ( ENI), down 1.5%.

TheStreet would like to highlight 3 stocks pushing the sector higher today:

3. Northeast Utilities ( NU) is one of the companies pushing the Utilities sector higher today. As of noon trading, Northeast Utilities is up $0.68 (1.5%) to $44.72 on average volume. Thus far, 525,485 shares of Northeast Utilities exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1.4 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $44.11-$44.83 after having opened the day at $44.11 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $44.04.

Northeast Utilities, a public utility company, through its subsidiaries, engages in the energy delivery business. It operates in four segments: Electric Distribution, Electric Transmission, Natural Gas Distribution, and Other. Northeast Utilities has a market cap of $13.9 billion and is part of the utilities industry. Shares are up 13.2% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are 8 analysts that rate Northeast Utilities a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 3 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Northeast Utilities 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, 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 somewhat disappointing return on equity. Get the full Northeast Utilities Ratings Report now.

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2. As of noon trading, DTE Energy Holding Company ( DTE) is up $0.69 (1.0%) to $71.29 on average volume. Thus far, 507,215 shares of DTE Energy Holding Company exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1.1 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $70.85-$71.59 after having opened the day at $70.97 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $70.60.

DTE Energy Company, together with its subsidiaries, operates as an energy company. The company's Electric segment engages in the generation, purchase, distribution, and sale of electricity to approximately 2.1 million residential, commercial, and industrial customers in southeastern Michigan. DTE Energy Holding Company has a market cap of $12.2 billion and is part of the utilities industry. Shares are up 16.8% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there is 1 analyst that rates DTE Energy Holding Company a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 8 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates DTE Energy Holding Company as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, increase in net income, attractive valuation levels, notable return on equity 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 DTE Energy Holding Company Ratings Report now.

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1. As of noon trading, Xcel Energy ( XEL) is up $0.36 (1.2%) to $30.23 on light volume. Thus far, 1.2 million shares of Xcel Energy exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3.5 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $29.87-$30.31 after having opened the day at $30.01 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $29.87.

Xcel Energy Inc., through its subsidiaries, engages in the generation, purchase, transmission, distribution, and sale of electricity in the United States. It operates through Regulated Electric Utility, Regulated Natural Gas Utility, and All Other segments. Xcel Energy has a market cap of $14.8 billion and is part of the utilities industry. Shares are up 11.8% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are 2 analysts that rate Xcel Energy a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 11 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Xcel Energy 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, good cash flow from operations 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 Xcel Energy 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 3 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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