4 Utilities Stocks Nudging The 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 58 points (-0.4%) at 15,461 as of Wednesday, Aug. 7, 2013, 12:50 PM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 785 issues advancing vs. 2,161 declining with 94 unchanged.

The Utilities sector currently sits down 0.2% versus the S&P 500, which is down 0.4%. Top gainers within the sector include Dominion Resources ( D), up 1.3%, Exelon ( EXC), up 1.2%, PG&E ( PCG), up 1.0%, Edison International ( EIX), up 0.9% and American Electric Power ( AEP), up 0.6%. A company within the sector that fell today was EQT ( EQT), up 1.2%.

TheStreet would like to highlight 4 stocks pushing the sector higher today:

4. Northeast Utilities ( NU) is one of the companies pushing the Utilities sector higher today. As of noon trading, Northeast Utilities is up $0.51 (1.2%) to $44.17 on average volume. Thus far, 811,068 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 $43.62-$44.28 after having opened the day at $43.63 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $43.66.

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 11.7% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. 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 compelling growth in net income, revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, 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 Northeast Utilities Ratings Report now.

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3. As of noon trading, Entergy ( ETR) is up $1.87 (2.8%) to $68.73 on heavy volume. Thus far, 1.2 million shares of Entergy exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1.4 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $66.50-$69.10 after having opened the day at $66.75 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $66.86.

Entergy Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, engages in the electric power production and retail electric distribution operations in the United States. The company generates electricity through various sources, such as gas/oil, nuclear, coal, and hydro power. Entergy has a market cap of $12.0 billion and is part of the utilities industry. Shares are up 4.9% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 3 analysts that rate Entergy a buy, 3 analysts rate it a sell, and 3 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Entergy as a buy. Among the primary strengths of the company is its revenue growth. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income. Get the full Entergy 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, Consolidated Edison ( ED) is up $0.58 (1.0%) to $60.38 on light volume. Thus far, 468,112 shares of Consolidated Edison exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1.8 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $59.50-$60.41 after having opened the day at $59.55 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $59.80.

Consolidated Edison, Inc., through its subsidiaries, engages in regulated electric, gas, and steam delivery businesses. Consolidated Edison has a market cap of $17.6 billion and is part of the utilities industry. Shares are up 7.7% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 2 analysts that rate Consolidated Edison a buy, 3 analysts rate it a sell, and 7 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Consolidated Edison as a buy. Among the primary strengths of the company is its revenue growth. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income. Get the full Consolidated Edison 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, Southern ( SO) is up $0.28 (0.6%) to $44.05 on light volume. Thus far, 1.4 million shares of Southern exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 4.6 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $43.54-$44.17 after having opened the day at $43.62 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $43.77.

The Southern Company, together with its subsidiaries, operates as a public electric utility company. Southern has a market cap of $38.4 billion and is part of the utilities industry. Shares are up 2.2% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there is 1 analyst that rates Southern a buy, 2 analysts rate it a sell, and 12 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Southern as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth 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 Southern 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 4 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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