3 Utilities Stocks Pushing 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.

All three major indices are trading up today with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) trading up 78 points (0.5%) at 16,438 as of Thursday, March 6, 2014, 11:55 AM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,775 issues advancing vs. 1,148 declining with 152 unchanged.

The Utilities sector currently sits down 0.1% versus the S&P 500, which is up 0.4%. Top gainers within the sector include Empresa Nacional de Electricidad ( EOC), up 1.3%, Huaneng Power International Inc. ADR repr C ( HNP), up 0.8% and Korea Electric Power ( KEP), up 0.7%. A company within the sector that fell today was PG&E ( PCG), up 0.7%.

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

3. Energy Company of Minas Gerais ( CIG) is one of the companies pushing the Utilities sector higher today. As of noon trading, Energy Company of Minas Gerais is up $0.08 (1.4%) to $5.97 on light volume. Thus far, 1.3 million shares of Energy Company of Minas Gerais exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 5.5 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $5.88-$5.98 after having opened the day at $5.88 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $5.89.

Companhia Energetica de Minas Gerais S.A., through its subsidiaries, engages in the generation, transformation, transmission, distribution, and sale of electric energy primarily in Minas Gerais, Brazil. Energy Company of Minas Gerais has a market cap of $6.5 billion and is part of the utilities industry. Shares are down 25.0% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are no analysts who rate Energy Company of Minas Gerais a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 3 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Energy Company of Minas Gerais as a sell. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its unimpressive growth in net income, poor profit margins, generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself and feeble growth in its earnings per share. Get the full Energy Company of Minas Gerais Ratings Report now.

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2. As of noon trading, Consolidated Edison ( ED) is up $0.31 (0.6%) to $55.59 on light volume. Thus far, 783,749 shares of Consolidated Edison exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2.2 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $55.39-$55.85 after having opened the day at $55.75 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $55.28.

Consolidated Edison, Inc. is engaged in regulated electric, gas, and steam delivery businesses in the United States. Consolidated Edison has a market cap of $16.3 billion and is part of the utilities industry. Shares are up 0.7% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there is 1 analyst who rates Consolidated Edison a buy, 2 analysts rate it a sell, and 7 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Consolidated Edison as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its reasonable valuation levels, good cash flow from operations, growth in earnings per share and increase in net income. 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 Consolidated Edison Ratings Report now.

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1. As of noon trading, Praxair ( PX) is up $1.30 (1.0%) to $130.85 on light volume. Thus far, 295,332 shares of Praxair exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1.2 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $129.46-$130.97 after having opened the day at $130.00 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $129.55.

Praxair, Inc. engages in the production, distribution, and sale atmospheric and process gases, as well as surface coatings in North America, Europe, South America, and Asia. Praxair has a market cap of $38.5 billion and is part of the chemicals industry. Shares are up 0.8% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 9 analysts who rate Praxair a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 6 rate it a hold.

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

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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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