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The Technology sector as a whole closed the day down 0.7% versus the S&P 500, which was down 0.9%. Laggards within the Technology sector included Blonder Tongue Laboratories ( BDR), down 4.1%, BTU International ( BTUI), down 4.2%, LookSmart ( LOOK), down 2.9%, Video Display ( VIDE), down 2.8% and Professional Diversity Network ( IPDN), down 2.9%.

TheStreet Ratings Group would like to highlight 3 stocks that pushed the sector lower today:

Professional Diversity Network ( IPDN) is one of the companies that pushed the Technology sector lower today. Professional Diversity Network was down $0.12 (2.9%) to $4.03 on light volume. Throughout the day, 584 shares of Professional Diversity Network exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 6,900 shares. The stock ranged in price between $4.01-$4.13 after having opened the day at $4.13 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $4.15.

Professional Diversity Network, Inc. operates online professional networking communities with career resources in the United States. Professional Diversity Network has a market cap of $25.5 million and is part of the telecommunications industry. Shares are down 10.0% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. 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 disappointing return on equity, weak operating cash flow and generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself.

Highlights from TheStreet Ratings analysis on IPDN go as follows:

  • Return on equity has greatly decreased when compared to its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a signal of major weakness within the corporation. Compared to other companies in the Internet Software & Services industry and the overall market, PROFESSIONAL DIVERSITY NETWK's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly decreased to -$0.35 million or 138.51% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, when comparing to the industry average, the firm's growth rate is much lower.
  • In its most recent trading session, IPDN has closed at a price level that was not very different from its closing price of one year earlier. This is probably due to its weak earnings growth as well as other mixed factors. 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 gross profit margin for PROFESSIONAL DIVERSITY NETWK is currently very high, coming in at 70.44%. Regardless of IPDN's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, IPDN's net profit margin of -21.24% significantly underperformed when compared to the industry average.
  • PROFESSIONAL DIVERSITY NETWK reported significant earnings per share improvement in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. This company has reported somewhat volatile earnings recently. But, we feel it is poised for EPS growth 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).

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

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At the close, LookSmart ( LOOK) was down $0.05 (2.9%) to $1.65 on light volume. Throughout the day, 351 shares of LookSmart exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 8,200 shares. The stock ranged in price between $1.65-$1.66 after having opened the day at $1.65 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $1.70.

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 $9.7 million and is part of the telecommunications industry. Shares are down 17.1% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

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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 16.21% 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 21.2%. 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 23.19%.
  • 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

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BTU International ( BTUI) was another company that pushed the Technology sector lower today. BTU International was down $0.12 (4.2%) to $2.88 on light volume. Throughout the day, 1,408 shares of BTU International exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 4,600 shares. The stock ranged in price between $2.82-$3.01 after having opened the day at $3.01 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $3.01.

BTU International, Inc. designs, manufactures, sells, and services thermal processing equipment and related process controls for use in the electronics, alternative energy, automotive, and other industries worldwide. BTU International has a market cap of $29.6 million and is part of the telecommunications industry. Shares are unchanged year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates BTU International as a sell. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its disappointing return on equity and weak operating cash flow.

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Highlights from TheStreet Ratings analysis on BTUI go as follows:

  • Return on equity has greatly decreased when compared to its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a signal of major weakness within the corporation. Compared to other companies in the Semiconductors & Semiconductor Equipment industry and the overall market, BTU INTERNATIONAL INC's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly decreased to -$2.70 million or 56.59% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, when comparing to the industry average, the firm's growth rate is much lower.
  • BTU INTERNATIONAL INC has improved earnings per share by 42.4% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. This company has not demonstrated a clear trend in earnings over the past 2 years, making it difficult to accurately predict earnings for the coming year. During the past fiscal year, BTU INTERNATIONAL INC reported poor results of -$1.21 versus -$1.16 in the prior year.
  • Despite currently having a low debt-to-equity ratio of 0.44, it is higher than that of the industry average, inferring that management of debt levels may need to be evaluated further. Despite the fact that BTUI's debt-to-equity ratio is mixed in its results, the company's quick ratio of 1.72 is high and demonstrates strong liquidity.
  • 38.34% is the gross profit margin for BTU INTERNATIONAL INC which we consider to be strong. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Regardless of the strong results of the gross profit margin, the net profit margin of -15.28% is in-line with the industry average.

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

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