PDCO, KR And TGT, Pushing Services 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 up today with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) trading up 16 points (0.1%) at 16,549 as of Thursday, May 22, 2014, 12:55 PM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 2,112 issues advancing vs. 834 declining with 184 unchanged.

The Services sector currently sits up 0.6% versus the S&P 500, which is up 0.4%. On the negative front, top decliners within the sector include Apollo Education Group ( APOL), down 8.5%, Vipshop Holdings ( VIPS), down 2.6%, PetSmart ( PETM), down 1.8%, eBay ( EBAY), down 1.0% and TJX Companies ( TJX), down 0.8%. Top gainers within the sector include YY ( YY), up 8.8%, Williams-Sonoma ( WSM), up 8.4%, Dollar Tree Stores ( DLTR), up 7.4%, Zillow ( Z), up 5.1% and Signet Jewelers ( SIG), up 4.5%.

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

3. Patterson Companies ( PDCO) is one of the companies pushing the Services sector lower today. As of noon trading, Patterson Companies is down $1.24 (-3.0%) to $39.78 on heavy volume. Thus far, 1.6 million shares of Patterson Companies exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 669,700 shares. The stock has ranged in price between $37.02-$40.15 after having opened the day at $38.44 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $41.03.

Patterson Companies, Inc. distributes dental, veterinary, and rehabilitation supplies. Patterson Companies has a market cap of $4.2 billion and is part of the wholesale industry. Shares are down 0.4% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 2 analysts that rate Patterson Companies a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 9 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Patterson Companies 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, growth in earnings per share, good cash flow from operations and increase in stock price during the past year. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins. Get the full Patterson Companies 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, Kroger ( KR) is down $0.31 (-0.7%) to $46.68 on light volume. Thus far, 1.5 million shares of Kroger exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 4.3 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $46.64-$47.90 after having opened the day at $47.85 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $46.99.

The Kroger Co., together with its subsidiaries, operates as a retailer worldwide. The company also manufactures and processes food for sale in its supermarkets. It operates retail food and drug stores, multi-department stores, jewelry stores, and convenience stores. Kroger has a market cap of $23.7 billion and is part of the retail industry. Shares are up 18.9% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 7 analysts that rate Kroger a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 6 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Kroger as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance and notable return on equity. 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 Kroger 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, Target ( TGT) is down $1.43 (-2.5%) to $55.77 on heavy volume. Thus far, 6.4 million shares of Target exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 5.8 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $55.65-$57.10 after having opened the day at $57.07 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $57.20.

Target Corporation operates general merchandise stores in the United States and Canada. Target has a market cap of $35.9 billion and is part of the retail industry. Shares are down 9.6% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 5 analysts that rate Target a buy, 3 analysts rate it a sell, and 11 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Target as a buy. Among the primary strengths of the company is its solid financial position based on a variety of debt and liquidity measures that we have evaluated. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself. Get the full Target 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 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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