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FirstEnergy ( FE) pushed the Utilities sector higher today making it today's featured utilities winner. The sector as a whole closed the day down 0.6%. By the end of trading, FirstEnergy rose $0.97 (2.6%) to $38.01 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 8,775,272 shares of FirstEnergy exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3,339,700 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $36.41-$39.01 after having opened the day at $37.49 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $37.04. Other companies within the Utilities sector that increased today were: American DG Energy ( ADGE), up 4.2%, U.S. Geothermal ( HTM), up 3.3%, PVR Partners ( PVR), up 2.9% and Suburban Propane Partners ( SPH), up 2.5%.

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 $15.9 billion and is part of the utilities industry. Shares are down 11.3% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday. 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.

On the negative front, Otter Tail Corporation ( OTTR), down 6.3%, Atlantic Power Corporation ( AT), down 5.6%, Beacon Power ( BCON), down 3.3% and Centrais Eletricas Brasileiras ( EBR), down 3.0% , were all laggards within the utilities sector with Exelon ( EXC) being today's utilities sector laggard.

For investors not wanting singular stock exposure, 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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