3 Stocks Pushing The Utilities 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 down today with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) trading down 27 points (-0.2%) at 16,879 as of Thursday, June 19, 2014, 12:55 PM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,678 issues advancing vs. 1,278 declining with 191 unchanged.

The Utilities sector currently sits up 0.1% versus the S&P 500, which is down 0.1%. Top gainers within the sector include Cleco ( CNL), up 6.1%, Korea Electric Power ( KEP), up 1.5%, Edison International ( EIX), up 0.8% and Huaneng Power International ( HNP), up 1.1%. A company within the sector that fell today was Centrais Eletricas Brasileiras ( EBR.B), up 2.4%.

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

3. American Electric Power ( AEP) is one of the companies pushing the Utilities sector higher today. As of noon trading, American Electric Power is up $0.50 (0.9%) to $54.62 on light volume. Thus far, 1.1 million shares of American Electric Power exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3.1 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $54.15-$54.81 after having opened the day at $54.28 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $54.12.

American Electric Power Company, Inc., a public utility holding company, is engaged in the generation, transmission, and distribution of electricity for sale to retail and wholesale customers. American Electric Power has a market cap of $25.8 billion and is part of the utilities industry. Shares are up 15.8% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 8 analysts who rate American Electric Power a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 6 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates American Electric Power as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, increase in stock price during the past year, impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income and good cash flow from operations. 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 American Electric Power Ratings Report now.

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2. As of noon trading, Duke Energy Corporation ( DUK) is up $0.45 (0.6%) to $72.86 on average volume. Thus far, 2.1 million shares of Duke Energy Corporation exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2.8 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $71.36-$73.12 after having opened the day at $72.26 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $72.41.

Duke Energy Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, operates as an energy company in the United States and Latin America. It operates through three segments: Regulated Utilities, International Energy, and Commercial Power. Duke Energy Corporation has a market cap of $50.0 billion and is part of the utilities industry. Shares are up 4.9% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 6 analysts who rate Duke Energy Corporation a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 6 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Duke Energy Corporation as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, 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 sub par growth in net income. Get the full Duke Energy Corporation Ratings Report now.

3x UPSIDE POTENTIAL: 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, Exelon ( EXC) is up $0.20 (0.5%) to $37.05 on light volume. Thus far, 3.2 million shares of Exelon exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 8.8 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $36.90-$37.24 after having opened the day at $36.94 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $36.85.

Exelon Corporation, a utility services holding company, is engaged in the energy generation business in the United States. It operates through nine segments: Mid-Atlantic, Midwest, New England, New York, ERCOT, Other Regions, ComEd, PECO, and BGE. Exelon has a market cap of $31.2 billion and is part of the utilities industry. Shares are up 34.5% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 2 analysts who rate Exelon a buy, 2 analysts rate it a sell, and 8 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Exelon as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, increase in stock price during the past year, impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins. Get the full Exelon Ratings Report now.

3x UPSIDE POTENTIAL: 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 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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