5 Stocks Pushing The Utilities Sector Downward

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 34 points (-0.2%) at 15,991 as of Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2013, 11:45 AM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,256 issues advancing vs. 1,637 declining with 176 unchanged.

The Utilities sector currently sits down 0.7% versus the S&P 500, which is down 0.2%. On the negative front, top decliners within the sector include Wisconsin Energy Corporation ( WEC), down 1.8%, Korea Electric Power ( KEP), down 1.3%, Consolidated Edison ( ED), down 1.2%, PPL ( PPL), down 1.1% and Edison International ( EIX), down 1.1%.

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

5. NextEra Energy ( NEE) is one of the companies pushing the Utilities sector lower today. As of noon trading, NextEra Energy is down $1.06 (-1.3%) to $83.04 on average volume. Thus far, 1.4 million shares of NextEra Energy exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2.0 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $83.02-$84.27 after having opened the day at $84.05 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $84.11.

NextEra Energy, Inc., through its subsidiaries, engages in the generation, transmission, distribution, and sale of electric energy in the United States and Canada. The company is involved in the generation of renewable energy from wind and solar projects. NextEra Energy has a market cap of $36.4 billion and is part of the utilities industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 19.7, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 21.6% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are 10 analysts that rate NextEra Energy a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 6 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates NextEra Energy as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, expanding profit margins, increase in net income, increase in stock price during the past year and growth in earnings per share. 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 NextEra Energy Ratings Report now.

STOCKS TO BUY: 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, American Electric Power ( AEP) is down $0.50 (-1.1%) to $46.22 on light volume. Thus far, 1.3 million shares of American Electric Power exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3.7 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $46.21-$46.95 after having opened the day at $46.89 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $46.72.

American Electric Power Company, Inc., a public utility holding company, engages in the generation, transmission, and distribution of electric power to retail customers. The company generates electricity using coal and lignite, natural gas, nuclear energy, and hydroelectric energy. American Electric Power has a market cap of $23.0 billion and is part of the utilities industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 19.8, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 10.4% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are 9 analysts that rate American Electric Power a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 6 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates American Electric Power as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, good cash flow from operations, expanding profit margins and increase in stock price during the past year. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income. Get the full American Electric Power Ratings Report now.

STOCKS TO BUY: 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, Duke Energy Corporation ( DUK) is down $0.59 (-0.8%) to $69.22 on light volume. Thus far, 612,096 shares of Duke Energy Corporation exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3.0 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $69.22-$69.91 after having opened the day at $69.78 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $69.81.

Duke Energy Corporation operates as an energy company in the United States and Latin America. The company operates in three segments: U.S. Franchised Electric and Gas, Commercial Power, and International Energy. The U.S. Duke Energy Corporation has a market cap of $49.6 billion and is part of the utilities industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 20.9, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 9.4% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are 8 analysts that rate Duke Energy Corporation a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 5 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Duke Energy Corporation as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its compelling growth in net income, expanding profit margins, good cash flow from operations, increase in stock price during the past year and growth in earnings per share. 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 Duke Energy Corporation Ratings Report now.

STOCKS TO BUY: 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, Exelon ( EXC) is down $0.25 (-0.9%) to $28.22 on light volume. Thus far, 2.4 million shares of Exelon exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 7.5 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $28.17-$28.48 after having opened the day at $28.44 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $28.47.

Exelon Corporation, a utility services holding company, engages in the energy generation and distribution business in the United States. Exelon has a market cap of $24.4 billion and is part of the utilities industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 15.2, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 4.3% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are no analysts that rate Exelon a buy, 3 analysts rate it a sell, and 12 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Exelon as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its compelling growth in net income, attractive valuation levels and good cash flow from operations. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself and poor profit margins. Get the full Exelon Ratings Report now.

STOCKS TO BUY: 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 down $0.48 (-1.2%) to $40.56 on average volume. Thus far, 2.2 million shares of Southern exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 5.5 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $40.56-$41.02 after having opened the day at $41.01 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $41.04.

The Southern Company, together with its subsidiaries, operates as a public electric utility company. Southern has a market cap of $36.5 billion and is part of the utilities industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 22.5, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 4.1% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are no analysts that rate 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 good cash flow from operations 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.

STOCKS TO BUY: 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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