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 traded up today with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) trading up 66 points (0.4%) at 16,609 as of Friday, May 23, 2014, 3:55 PM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,917 issues advancing vs. 1,047 declining with 178 unchanged.

The Technology sector as a whole closed the day up 1.2% versus the S&P 500, which was up 0.4%. Top gainers within the Technology sector included LookSmart ( LOOK), up 7.9%, Net Element ( NETE), up 1.9%, Advanced Photonix ( API), up 12.6%, Professional Diversity Network ( IPDN), up 4.3% and BTU International ( BTUI), up 5.3%.

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

Professional Diversity Network ( IPDN) is one of the companies that pushed the Technology sector higher today. Professional Diversity Network was up $0.15 (4.3%) to $3.65 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 12,676 shares of Professional Diversity Network exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 7,100 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $3.50-$3.65 after having opened the day at $3.50 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $3.50.

Professional Diversity Network, Inc. operates online professional networking communities with career resources in the United States. Professional Diversity Network has a market cap of $22.1 million and is part of the computer software & services industry. Shares are down 24.1% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there is 1 analyst who rates Professional Diversity Network a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and none rate it a hold.

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TheStreet Ratings rates Professional Diversity Network as a sell. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its deteriorating net income, weak operating cash flow and feeble growth in its earnings per share.

Highlights from TheStreet Ratings analysis on IPDN go as follows:

  • The company, on the basis of change in net income from the same quarter one year ago, has significantly underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500 and the Internet Software & Services industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 253.2% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $0.36 million to -$0.55 million.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly decreased to -$0.92 million or 255.64% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, when comparing to the industry average, the firm's growth rate is much lower.
  • PROFESSIONAL DIVERSITY NETWK has experienced a steep decline in earnings per share in the most recent quarter in comparison to its performance from the same quarter a year ago. The company has reported a trend of declining earnings per share over the past year. However, the consensus estimate suggests that this trend should reverse in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, PROFESSIONAL DIVERSITY NETWK swung to a loss, reporting -$0.23 versus $0.27 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings (-$0.19 versus -$0.23).
  • The revenue fell significantly faster than the industry average of 21.3%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues fell by 18.3%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to have hurt the bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
  • The gross profit margin for PROFESSIONAL DIVERSITY NETWK is rather high; currently it is at 62.81%. Despite the high profit margin, it has decreased significantly from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, IPDN's net profit margin of -47.45% significantly underperformed when compared to the industry average.

You can view the full analysis from the report here: Professional Diversity Network Ratings Report

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At the close, Advanced Photonix ( API) was up $0.06 (12.6%) to $0.54 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 252,026 shares of Advanced Photonix exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 44,100 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $0.46-$0.56 after having opened the day at $0.48 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $0.48.

Advanced Photonix, Inc. engages in the development, manufacture, and sale of optoelectronic devices, and sub-systems and systems to various original equipment manufacturers primarily in North America, Asia, Europe, and Australia. Advanced Photonix has a market cap of $14.1 million and is part of the computer software & services industry. Shares are down 30.5% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are no analysts who rate Advanced Photonix a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 1 rates it a hold.

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TheStreet Ratings rates Advanced Photonix as a sell. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its unimpressive growth in net income, disappointing return on equity, generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself and feeble growth in its earnings per share.

Highlights from TheStreet Ratings analysis on API go as follows:

  • The company, on the basis of change in net income from the same quarter one year ago, has significantly underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500 and the Electronic Equipment, Instruments & Components industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 57.9% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from -$1.03 million to -$1.62 million.
  • Current return on equity is lower than its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a clear sign of weakness within the company. Compared to other companies in the Electronic Equipment, Instruments & Components industry and the overall market, ADVANCED PHOTONIX INC's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • The share price of ADVANCED PHOTONIX INC has not done very well: it is down 6.00% and has underperformed the S&P 500, in part reflecting the company's sharply declining earnings per share when compared to the year-earlier quarter. The fact that the stock is now selling for less than others in its industry in relation to its current earnings is not reason enough to justify a buy rating at this time.
  • ADVANCED PHOTONIX INC has experienced a steep decline in earnings per share in the most recent quarter in comparison to its performance from the same quarter a year ago. The company has reported a trend of declining earnings per share over the past two years. However, the consensus estimate suggests that this trend should reverse in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, ADVANCED PHOTONIX INC reported poor results of -$0.13 versus -$0.07 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings (-$0.05 versus -$0.13).
  • The current debt-to-equity ratio, 0.34, is low and is below the industry average, implying that there has been successful management of debt levels. Despite the fact that API's debt-to-equity ratio is low, the quick ratio, which is currently 0.62, displays a potential problem in covering short-term cash needs.

You can view the full analysis from the report here: Advanced Photonix Ratings Report

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more.

LookSmart ( LOOK) was another company that pushed the Technology sector higher today. LookSmart was up $0.13 (7.9%) to $1.78 on average volume. Throughout the day, 4,517 shares of LookSmart exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 5,400 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $1.48-$1.80 after having opened the day at $1.67 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $1.65.

LookSmart, Ltd. provides search and display advertising network solutions in the United States, Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. LookSmart has a market cap of $9.5 million and is part of the computer software & services industry. Shares are down 19.5% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are no analysts who rate LookSmart a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and none rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates LookSmart as a sell. Among the areas we feel are negative, one of the most important has been a generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself.

Highlights from TheStreet Ratings analysis on LOOK go as follows:

  • LOOK has underperformed the S&P 500 Index, declining 7.67% from its price level of one year ago. The fact that the stock is now selling for less than others in its industry in relation to its current earnings is not reason enough to justify a buy rating at this time.
  • The company's current return on equity greatly increased when compared to its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a signal of significant strength within the corporation. Compared to other companies in the Internet Software & Services industry and the overall market, LOOKSMART LTD's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • LOOK, with its very weak revenue results, has greatly underperformed against the industry average of 21.3%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues plummeted by 64.4%. The declining revenue has not hurt the company's bottom line, with increasing earnings per share.
  • Net operating cash flow has slightly increased to -$1.26 million or 6.52% when compared to the same quarter last year. Despite an increase in cash flow, LOOKSMART LTD's cash flow growth rate is still lower than the industry average growth rate of 23.29%.
  • The gross profit margin for LOOKSMART LTD is rather high; currently it is at 55.73%. It has increased significantly from the same period last year. Regardless of the strong results of the gross profit margin, the net profit margin of -129.71% is in-line with the industry average.

You can view the full analysis from the report here: LookSmart Ratings Report

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more.

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.