5 Services Stocks Pushing Sector Growth

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 108 points (0.7%) at 14,942 as of Wednesday, Sept. 4, 2013, 12:55 PM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 2,111 issues advancing vs. 816 declining with 96 unchanged.

The Services sector currently sits up 0.7% versus the S&P 500, which is up 1.3%. Top gainers within the sector include Dollar General Corporation ( DG), up 6.3%, Dollar Tree Stores ( DLTR), up 3.2%, MGM Resorts International ( MGM), up 2.9%, Royal Philips ( PHG), up 3.0% and CSX ( CSX), up 2.2%. On the negative front, top decliners within the sector include Delhaize Group ( DEG), down 7.0%, SAIC ( SAI), down 5.2%, H&R Block ( HRB), down 2.1% and Luxottica Group ( LUX), down 1.8%.

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

5. McDonald's Corporation ( MCD) is one of the companies pushing the Services sector higher today. As of noon trading, McDonald's Corporation is up $0.81 (0.9%) to $95.33 on light volume. Thus far, 1.4 million shares of McDonald's Corporation exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 4.7 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $94.34-$95.36 after having opened the day at $94.50 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $94.52.

McDonald's Corporation franchises and operates McDonald's restaurants in the United States, Europe, the Asia/Pacific, the Middle East, Africa, Canada, and Latin America. Its restaurants offer various food items, soft drinks, coffee, and other beverages, as well as breakfast menus. McDonald's Corporation has a market cap of $94.3 billion and is part of the leisure industry. Shares are up 7.2% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 11 analysts that rate McDonald's Corporation a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 14 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates McDonald's Corporation as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, growth in earnings per share, increase in stock price during the past year, good cash flow from operations and expanding profit margins. Although the company may harbor some minor weaknesses, we feel they are unlikely to have a significant impact on results. Get the full McDonald's 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.

4. As of noon trading, Wal-Mart Stores ( WMT) is up $0.41 (0.6%) to $73.09 on light volume. Thus far, 2.0 million shares of Wal-Mart Stores exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 6.4 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $72.45-$73.12 after having opened the day at $72.70 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $72.68.

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. operates retail stores in various formats worldwide. The company operates in three segments: Walmart U.S., Walmart International, and Sam's Club. Wal-Mart Stores has a market cap of $239.1 billion and is part of the retail industry. Shares are up 6.5% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 10 analysts that rate Wal-Mart Stores a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 8 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Wal-Mart Stores as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, notable return on equity, growth in earnings per share, good cash flow from operations and increase in net income. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself. Get the full Wal-Mart Stores 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, Twenty-First Century Fox ( FOXA) is up $0.38 (1.2%) to $32.09 on light volume. Thus far, 3.9 million shares of Twenty-First Century Fox exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 15.1 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $31.63-$32.19 after having opened the day at $31.84 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $31.71.

Twenty-First Century Fox, Inc. operates as a diversified media and entertainment company worldwide. Twenty-First Century Fox has a market cap of $47.3 billion and is part of the media industry. Shares are up 24.3% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 18 analysts that rate Twenty-First Century Fox a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 3 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Twenty-First Century Fox as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins. Get the full Twenty-First Century Fox 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, Comcast ( CMCSA) is up $0.36 (0.8%) to $43.10 on average volume. Thus far, 5.2 million shares of Comcast exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 11.8 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $42.59-$43.24 after having opened the day at $42.88 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $42.74.

Comcast Corporation operates as a media and technology company worldwide. It operates through Cable Communications, Cable Networks, Broadcast Television, Filmed Entertainment, and Theme Parks segments. Comcast has a market cap of $89.8 billion and is part of the media industry. Shares are up 12.7% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 21 analysts that rate Comcast a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 3 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Comcast as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, solid stock price performance, impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow. Get the full Comcast 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, Home Depot ( HD) is up $0.34 (0.5%) to $74.24 on average volume. Thus far, 3.5 million shares of Home Depot exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 7.4 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $73.74-$74.51 after having opened the day at $73.98 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $73.90.

The Home Depot, Inc. operates as a home improvement retailer. Home Depot has a market cap of $106.7 billion and is part of the retail industry. Shares are up 19.5% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 11 analysts that rate Home Depot a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 9 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Home Depot 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, compelling growth in net income and solid stock price performance. 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 Home Depot 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 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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