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.

The three major indices are trading lower today with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) trading up 16 points (0.1%) at 16,976 as of Monday, July 28, 2014, 3:55 PM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,373 issues advancing vs. 1,597 declining with 179 unchanged.

The Consumer Goods sector as a whole closed the day down 0.5% versus the S&P 500, which was unchanged. Top gainers within the Consumer Goods sector included Golden ( GLDC), up 2.4%, SkyPeople Fruit Juice ( SPU), up 3.0%, SGOCO Group ( SGOC), up 1.7%, Stanley Furniture ( STLY), up 3.1% and Northern Technologies International ( NTIC), up 2.4%.

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

Northern Technologies International ( NTIC) is one of the companies that pushed the Consumer Goods sector higher today. Northern Technologies International was up $0.47 (2.4%) to $19.91 on light volume. Throughout the day, 2,555 shares of Northern Technologies International exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 6,600 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $19.31-$19.91 after having opened the day at $19.31 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $19.44.

Northern Technologies International Corporation develops, markets, and sells rust and corrosion inhibiting products and services under the ZERUST brand name to the automotive, electronics, electrical, mechanical, military, retail consumer, and oil and gas markets. Northern Technologies International has a market cap of $91.2 million and is part of the consumer non-durables industry. Shares are up 4.8% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are no analysts who rate Northern Technologies International a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and none rate it a hold.

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TheStreet Ratings rates Northern Technologies International as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, solid stock price performance, increase in net income and good cash flow from operations. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins.

Highlights from TheStreet Ratings analysis on NTIC go as follows:

  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 7.0%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 17.8%. This growth in revenue does not appear to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, displaying stagnant earnings per share.
  • NTIC has no debt to speak of therefore resulting in a debt-to-equity ratio of zero, which we consider to be a relatively favorable sign. Along with this, the company maintains a quick ratio of 4.13, which clearly demonstrates the ability to cover short-term cash needs.
  • Compared to its closing price of one year ago, NTIC's share price has jumped by 69.66%, exceeding the performance of the broader market during that same time frame. Regarding the stock's future course, although almost any stock can fall in a broad market decline, NTIC should continue to move higher despite the fact that it has already enjoyed a very nice gain in the past year.
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Chemicals industry average. The net income increased by 5.7% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $0.93 million to $0.98 million.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly increased by 543.44% to $2.95 million when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, NORTHERN TECH INTL has also vastly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of -67.50%.

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

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At the close, Stanley Furniture ( STLY) was up $0.08 (3.1%) to $2.64 on average volume. Throughout the day, 35,600 shares of Stanley Furniture exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 45,200 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $2.55-$2.64 after having opened the day at $2.56 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $2.56.

Stanley Furniture Company, Inc. designs, manufactures, and imports wood furniture for the residential market in the United States. Stanley Furniture has a market cap of $38.3 million and is part of the consumer non-durables industry. Shares are down 33.3% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are no analysts who rate Stanley Furniture a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 1 rates it a hold.

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

TheStreet Ratings rates Stanley Furniture as a sell. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its feeble growth in its earnings per share, deteriorating net income, disappointing return on equity, weak operating cash flow and generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself.

Highlights from TheStreet Ratings analysis on STLY go as follows:

  • STANLEY FURNITURE CO 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. Earnings per share have declined over the last two years. We anticipate that this should continue in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, STANLEY FURNITURE CO INC swung to a loss, reporting -$0.89 versus $2.09 in the prior year. For the next year, the market is expecting a contraction of 98.9% in earnings (-$1.77 versus -$0.89).
  • 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 Household Durables industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 440.1% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from -$3.53 million to -$19.06 million.
  • 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 Household Durables industry and the overall market, STANLEY FURNITURE CO 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 -$6.29 million or 67.28% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, when comparing to the industry average, the firm's growth rate is much lower.
  • Despite any intermediate fluctuations, we have only bad news to report on this stock's performance over the last year: it has tumbled by 28.22%, worse than the S&P 500's performance. Consistent with the plunge in the stock price, the company's earnings per share are down 440.00% compared to the year-earlier quarter. Naturally, the overall market trend is bound to be a significant factor. However, in one sense, the stock's sharp decline last year is a positive for future investors, making it cheaper (in proportion to its earnings over the past year) than most other stocks in its industry. But due to other concerns, we feel the stock is still not a good buy right now.

You can view the full analysis from the report here: Stanley Furniture 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.

SkyPeople Fruit Juice ( SPU) was another company that pushed the Consumer Goods sector higher today. SkyPeople Fruit Juice was up $0.04 (3.0%) to $1.38 on light volume. Throughout the day, 13,140 shares of SkyPeople Fruit Juice exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 30,400 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $1.33-$1.38 after having opened the day at $1.34 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $1.34.

SkyPeople Fruit Juice, Inc., through its subsidiaries, produces and sells fruit juice concentrates, fruit beverages, and other fruit-related products in the People's Republic of China and internationally. SkyPeople Fruit Juice has a market cap of $36.0 million and is part of the consumer non-durables industry. Shares are down 23.4% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are no analysts who rate SkyPeople Fruit Juice a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and none rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates SkyPeople Fruit Juice as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, attractive valuation levels and good cash flow from operations. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including feeble growth in the company's earnings per share, deteriorating net income and disappointing return on equity.

Highlights from TheStreet Ratings analysis on SPU go as follows:

  • SPU's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.25 and is currently below that of the industry average, implying that there has been very successful management of debt levels. To add to this, SPU has a quick ratio of 2.40, which demonstrates the ability of the company to cover short-term liquidity needs.
  • 39.15% is the gross profit margin for SKYPEOPLE FRUIT JUICE 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 4.27% trails the industry average.
  • 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 Food Products industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 86.8% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $3.82 million to $0.50 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. In comparison to the other companies in the Food Products industry and the overall market, SKYPEOPLE FRUIT JUICE INC's return on equity is significantly below that of the industry average and is below that of the S&P 500.

You can view the full analysis from the report here: SkyPeople Fruit Juice 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.