3 Utilities Stocks Driving 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.

Two out of the three major indices are trading up today with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) trading down 14 points (-0.1%) at 16,140 as of Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2014, 12:00 PM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 2,063 issues advancing vs. 873 declining with 164 unchanged.

The Utilities sector currently sits up 0.2% versus the S&P 500, which is up 0.2%. On the negative front, top decliners within the sector include Centrais Eletricas Brasileiras ( EBR), down 7.4%, CPFL Energy ( CPL), down 6.5%, Centrais Eletricas Brasileiras ( EBR.B), down 5.6%, Energy Company of Parana ( ELP), down 4.7% and Empresa Nacional de Electricidad ( EOC), down 2.0%.

TheStreet would like to highlight 3 stocks pushing the sector higher today:

3. EQT ( EQT) is one of the companies pushing the Utilities sector higher today. As of noon trading, EQT is up $1.61 (1.6%) to $99.28 on average volume. Thus far, 678,747 shares of EQT exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1.5 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $97.75-$99.66 after having opened the day at $97.75 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $97.67.

Natural Gas Utility, (NYSE: EQT), natural gas production and gathering, natural gas distribution and transmission in the Appalachian area, and energy infrastructure and efficiency solutions primarily in the northeastern section of the United States and in selected international markets. EQT has a market cap of $14.7 billion and is part of the utilities industry. Shares are up 8.8% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are 9 analysts who rate EQT a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 5 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates EQT as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, expanding profit margins, impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income and solid stock price performance. Although no company is perfect, currently we do not see any significant weaknesses which are likely to detract from the generally positive outlook. Get the full EQT Ratings Report now.

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2. As of noon trading, Public Service Enterprise Group ( PEG) is up $0.27 (0.8%) to $34.97 on light volume. Thus far, 1.1 million shares of Public Service Enterprise Group exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 4.2 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $34.65-$35.06 after having opened the day at $34.74 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $34.70.

Public Service Enterprise Group Incorporated, through its subsidiaries, operates as an energy company primarily in the northeastern and mid Atlantic United States. Public Service Enterprise Group has a market cap of $17.6 billion and is part of the utilities industry. Shares are up 8.3% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are 3 analysts who rate Public Service Enterprise Group a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 5 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Public Service Enterprise Group as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, 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 Public Service Enterprise Group Ratings Report now.

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1. As of noon trading, Exelon ( EXC) is up $0.21 (0.7%) to $29.95 on average volume. Thus far, 2.9 million shares of Exelon exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 7.4 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $29.64-$29.98 after having opened the day at $29.76 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $29.74.

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 $25.5 billion and is part of the utilities industry. Shares are up 8.6% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are no analysts who rate Exelon a buy, 4 analysts rate it a sell, and 10 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Exelon as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its impressive record of earnings per share growth, attractive valuation levels, good cash flow from operations, compelling growth in net income 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. Get the full Exelon 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 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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