3 Utilities Stocks Nudging The 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.

Two out of the three major indices are trading up today with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) trading up 34 points (0.2%) at 16,956 as of Friday, June 20, 2014, 12:55 PM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,547 issues advancing vs. 1,406 declining with 177 unchanged.

The Utilities sector currently sits up 0.2% versus the S&P 500, which is up 0.1%. Top gainers within the sector include Huaneng Power International ( HNP), up 1.9%, Companhia De Saneamento Basico Do Estado De ( SBS), up 1.9%, TransCanada ( TRP), up 1.0% and Praxair ( PX), up 0.6%. On the negative front, top decliners within the sector include Duke Energy Corporation ( DUK), down 1.0%, Exelon ( EXC), down 0.8% and Dominion Resources ( D), down 0.6%.

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

3. Western Gas Equity Partners ( WGP) is one of the companies pushing the Utilities sector higher today. As of noon trading, Western Gas Equity Partners is up $1.99 (3.5%) to $59.36 on heavy volume. Thus far, 81,893 shares of Western Gas Equity Partners exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 86,900 shares. The stock has ranged in price between $56.88-$59.36 after having opened the day at $57.66 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $57.37.

Western Gas Equity Partners, LP is engaged in gathering, processing, compressing, treating, and transporting natural gas, condensate, natural gas liquids, and crude oil in the United States. Western Gas Equity Partners has a market cap of $12.6 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are up 45.2% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 7 analysts who rate Western Gas Equity Partners a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 1 rates it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Western Gas Equity Partners as a sell. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its weak operating cash flow and generally high debt management risk. Get the full Western Gas Equity Partners 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.

2. As of noon trading, ONEOK ( OKE) is up $1.57 (2.4%) to $66.03 on average volume. Thus far, 701,596 shares of ONEOK exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1.0 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $64.67-$66.29 after having opened the day at $64.67 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $64.46.

ONEOK, Inc. operates as a diversified energy company in the United States. ONEOK has a market cap of $13.4 billion and is part of the utilities industry. Shares are up 3.7% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 6 analysts who rate ONEOK a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 7 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates ONEOK as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, notable return on equity, good cash flow from operations, solid stock price performance and growth in earnings per share. 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 ONEOK 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, Entergy ( ETR) is up $0.66 (0.8%) to $81.45 on average volume. Thus far, 783,379 shares of Entergy exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1.9 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $80.78-$81.53 after having opened the day at $81.00 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $80.79.

Entergy Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, is engaged in the electric power production and retail electric distribution operations in the United States. It generates electricity through gas/oil, nuclear, coal, and hydro power. Entergy has a market cap of $14.4 billion and is part of the utilities industry. Shares are up 27.7% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 2 analysts who rate Entergy a buy, 2 analysts rate it a sell, and 8 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Entergy as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, expanding profit margins, good cash flow from operations, increase in stock price during the past year and increase in net income. 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 Entergy 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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