3 Stocks Driving The Consumer Goods 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 65 points (-0.4%) at 17,004 as of Monday, July 7, 2014, 12:55 PM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 894 issues advancing vs. 2,148 declining with 116 unchanged.

The Consumer Goods sector currently sits down 0.8% versus the S&P 500, which is down 0.5%. A company within the sector that fell today was Xerox Corporation ( XRX), up 2.6%.

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

3. Altria Group ( MO) is one of the companies pushing the Consumer Goods sector higher today. As of noon trading, Altria Group is up $0.28 (0.7%) to $42.67 on light volume. Thus far, 2.6 million shares of Altria Group exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 7.4 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $42.25-$42.75 after having opened the day at $42.25 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $42.39.

Altria Group, Inc., through its subsidiaries, manufactures and sells cigarettes, smokeless products, and wine in the United States and internationally. Altria Group has a market cap of $84.2 billion and is part of the tobacco industry. Shares are up 10.4% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 4 analysts who rate Altria Group a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 6 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Altria Group as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, good cash flow from operations, expanding profit margins, increase in stock price during the past year and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income. Get the full Altria Group Ratings Report now.

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2. As of noon trading, Philip Morris International ( PM) is up $0.51 (0.6%) to $86.20 on average volume. Thus far, 1.8 million shares of Philip Morris International exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 4.7 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $85.46-$86.22 after having opened the day at $85.58 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $85.69.

Philip Morris International Inc., through its subsidiaries, manufactures and sells cigarettes and other tobacco products. The company's portfolio of brands include Marlboro, Merit, Parliament, Virginia Slims, L&M, Chesterfield, Bond Street, Lark, Muratti, Next, Philip Morris, and Red & White. Philip Morris International has a market cap of $134.8 billion and is part of the tobacco industry. Shares are down 1.6% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 9 analysts who rate Philip Morris International a buy, 2 analysts rate it a sell, and 2 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Philip Morris International as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its expanding profit margins and increase in stock price during the past year. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including deteriorating net income, weak operating cash flow and feeble growth in the company's earnings per share. Get the full Philip Morris International Ratings Report now.

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1. As of noon trading, Apple ( AAPL) is up $0.86 (0.9%) to $94.90 on average volume. Thus far, 31.4 million shares of Apple exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 66.7 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $94.10-$95.47 after having opened the day at $94.14 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $94.03.

Apple Inc. and its wholly-owned subsidiaries design, manufacture, and market mobile communication and media devices, personal computers, and portable digital music players worldwide. Apple has a market cap of $567.0 billion and is part of the consumer durables industry. Shares are up 17.3% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 29 analysts who rate Apple a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 9 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Apple 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, notable return on equity, expanding profit margins and good cash flow from operations. Although no company is perfect, currently we do not see any significant weaknesses which are likely to detract from the generally positive outlook. Get the full Apple 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 consumer goods sector could consider iShares Dow Jones US Cons Goods ( IYK) while those bearish on the consumer goods sector could consider ProShares Ultra Sht Consumer Goods ( SZK).
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