Wal-Mart Stores Inc (WMT): Today's Featured Services 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.

Wal-Mart Stores ( WMT) pushed the Services sector higher today making it today's featured services winner. The sector as a whole closed the day down 0.6%. By the end of trading, Wal-Mart Stores rose $1.14 (1.4%) to $79.76 on average volume. Throughout the day, 9,507,602 shares of Wal-Mart Stores exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 6,989,900 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $78.83-$79.98 after having opened the day at $78.86 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $78.62. Other companies within the Services sector that increased today were: Susser Holdings ( SUSS), up 36.3%, Furiex Pharmaceuticals ( FURX), up 28.6%, Susser Petroleum Partners ( SUSP), up 22.0% and JC Penney ( JCP), up 9.0%.

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. operates retail stores in various formats worldwide. The company operates through three segments: Walmart U.S., Walmart International, and Sam's Club. Wal-Mart Stores has a market cap of $252.7 billion and is part of the retail industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 15.4, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 0.1% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are 8 analysts that rate Wal-Mart Stores a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 9 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, good cash flow from operations, reasonable valuation levels, increase in stock price during the past year and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins.

On the negative front, Newlead Holdings ( NEWL), down 20.4%, YOU On Demand Holdings ( YOD), down 12.3%, InfoSonics ( IFON), down 12.1% and Wayside Technology Group ( WSTG), down 11.5% , were all laggards within the services sector with MGM Resorts International ( MGM) being today's services sector laggard.

For investors not wanting singular stock exposure, 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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