Gap Inc. (GPS): Today's Featured Retail 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.

Gap ( GPS) pushed the Retail industry higher today making it today's featured retail winner. The industry as a whole closed the day up 0.4%. By the end of trading, Gap rose $0.80 (2.1%) to $39.52 on average volume. Throughout the day, 4,429,784 shares of Gap exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 4,929,200 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $38.73-$39.75 after having opened the day at $38.86 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $38.72. Other companies within the Retail industry that increased today were: QKL Stores ( QKLS), up 11.4%, Rite Aid Corporation ( RAD), up 8.5%, Pacific Sunwear ( PSUN), up 5.8% and Citi Trends ( CTRN), up 4.4%.

The Gap, Inc. operates as an apparel retail company. It offers apparel, accessories, and personal care products for men, women, children, and babies under the Gap, Old Navy, Banana Republic, Piperlime, Athleta, and Intermix brands worldwide. Gap has a market cap of $17.5 billion and is part of the services sector. Shares are down 0.9% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 7 analysts that rate Gap a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 17 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Gap as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, notable return on equity, increase in stock price during the past year and growth in earnings per share. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow.

On the negative front, Christopher & Banks Corporation ( CBK), down 7.8%, Pantry ( PTRY), down 4.4%, China Jo-Jo Drugstores ( CJJD), down 3.5% and E-Commerce China Dangdang ( DANG), down 3.4% , were all laggards within the retail industry with Whole Foods Market ( WFM) being today's retail industry laggard.

For investors not wanting singular stock exposure, ETFs may be of interest. Investors who are bullish on the retail industry could consider SPDR S&P Retail ETF ( XRT) while those bearish on the retail industry could consider ProShares Ultra Sht Consumer Goods ( SZK).

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