3 Stocks Driving The Industrial 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 66 points (-0.4%) at 16,378 as of Thursday, Aug. 7, 2014, 12:55 PM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,344 issues advancing vs. 1,660 declining with 123 unchanged.

The Industrial Goods sector currently is unchanged today versus the S&P 500, which is down 0.5%. Top gainers within the sector include Middleby ( MIDD), up 16.9%, Huntington Ingalls Industries ( HII), up 3.4%, Pentair ( PNR), up 1.8%, Boeing ( BA), up 1.1% and Parker Hannifin ( PH), up 0.8%. On the negative front, top decliners within the sector include Tenaris ( TS), down 2.4%, Vulcan Materials ( VMC), down 1.9%, ABB ( ABB), down 1.2%, Royal Philips ( PHG), down 1.2% and Nidec ( NJ), down 1.0%.

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

3. Illinois Tool Works ( ITW) is one of the companies pushing the Industrial Goods sector higher today. As of noon trading, Illinois Tool Works is up $0.48 (0.6%) to $83.26 on average volume. Thus far, 913,054 shares of Illinois Tool Works exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1.8 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $83.12-$84.08 after having opened the day at $83.25 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $82.78.

Illinois Tool Works Inc. produces and sells engineered fasteners and components, equipment and consumable systems, and specialty products. Illinois Tool Works has a market cap of $34.1 billion and is part of the industrial industry. Shares are down 1.6% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 10 analysts who rate Illinois Tool Works a buy, 2 analysts rate it a sell, and 4 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Illinois Tool Works 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, compelling growth in net income, expanding profit margins and increase in stock price during the past year. Although the company may harbor some minor weaknesses, we feel they are unlikely to have a significant impact on results. Get the full Illinois Tool Works Ratings Report now.

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2. As of noon trading, 3D Systems ( DDD) is up $1.23 (2.6%) to $49.02 on average volume. Thus far, 2.7 million shares of 3D Systems exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 4.4 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $48.84-$49.98 after having opened the day at $49.65 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $47.79.

3D Systems Corporation, through its subsidiaries, operates as a provider of 3D printing centric design-to-manufacturing solutions in the United States, Germany, the Asia-Pacific, and other European countries. 3D Systems has a market cap of $5.2 billion and is part of the computer hardware industry. Shares are down 48.6% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 7 analysts who rate 3D Systems a buy, 2 analysts rate it a sell, and 6 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates 3D Systems as a hold. 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 and expanding profit margins. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including unimpressive growth in net income, disappointing return on equity and premium valuation. Get the full 3D Systems Ratings Report now.

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1. As of noon trading, Caterpillar ( CAT) is up $0.52 (0.5%) to $102.00 on average volume. Thus far, 2.5 million shares of Caterpillar exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3.8 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $101.91-$103.47 after having opened the day at $102.66 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $101.49.

Caterpillar Inc. manufactures and sells construction and mining equipment, diesel and natural gas engines, industrial gas turbines, and diesel-electric locomotives worldwide. Caterpillar has a market cap of $63.7 billion and is part of the industrial industry. Shares are up 11.8% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 6 analysts who rate Caterpillar a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 12 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Caterpillar as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, reasonable valuation levels, growth in earnings per share 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 Caterpillar 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 industrial goods sector could consider Industrial Select Sector SPDR ( XLI) while those bearish on the industrial goods sector could consider ProShares Short Dow 30 ( DOG).

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