Ross Stores Inc. (ROST): Today's Featured Services Winner

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.

Ross Stores ( ROST) pushed the Services sector higher today making it today's featured services winner. The sector as a whole closed the day up 0.1%. By the end of trading, Ross Stores rose $1.34 (2.0%) to $69.86 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 3,655,836 shares of Ross Stores exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1,340,500 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $69.19-$70.86 after having opened the day at $70.77 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $68.52. Other companies within the Services sector that increased today were: Net 1 Ueps Technologies ( UEPS), up 47.5%, Genco Shipping & Trading ( GNK), up 18.3%, TOP Ships ( TOPS), up 13.6% and China Jo-Jo Drugstores ( CJJD), up 12.0%.

Ross Stores, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, operates off-price retail apparel and home fashion stores under the Ross Dress for Less and dd's DISCOUNTS brand names in the United States. It primarily offers apparel, accessories, footwear, and home fashions for the entire family. Ross Stores has a market cap of $14.8 billion and is part of the retail industry. Shares are up 24.9% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 12 analysts that rate Ross Stores a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 9 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Ross Stores as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its impressive record of earnings per share growth, revenue growth, notable return on equity, good cash flow from operations and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself.

On the negative front, Aeropostale ( ARO), down 20.3%, SED International Holdings ( SED), down 14.6%, China Yida ( CNYD), down 13.8% and Pandora Media ( P), down 12.9% , were all laggards within the services sector with Panera Bread Company ( PNRA) being today's services sector laggard.

For investors not wanting singular stock exposure, 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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