3 Utilities Stocks Driving 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.

All three major indices are trading down today with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) trading down 7 points (0.0%) at 16,563 as of Tuesday, Aug. 12, 2014, 12:55 PM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,349 issues advancing vs. 1,605 declining with 179 unchanged.

The Utilities sector currently sits down 0.1% versus the S&P 500, which is down 0.1%. On the negative front, top decliners within the sector include Centrais Eletricas Brasileiras ( EBR.B), down 1.6%, and Targa Resources ( TRGP), down 1.1%.

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

3. American Water Works ( AWK) is one of the companies pushing the Utilities sector higher today. As of noon trading, American Water Works is up $0.68 (1.4%) to $48.40 on average volume. Thus far, 253,204 shares of American Water Works exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 669,200 shares. The stock has ranged in price between $47.70-$48.64 after having opened the day at $48.03 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $47.72.

American Water Works Company, Inc., through its subsidiaries, provides water and wastewater services in the United States and Canada. The company's Regulated Businesses segment offers water and wastewater services to approximately 1,500 communities in 16 states. American Water Works has a market cap of $8.6 billion and is part of the utilities industry. Shares are up 12.9% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are 13 analysts who rate American Water Works a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and none rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates American Water Works 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, growth in earnings per share, increase in net income and expanding profit margins. 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 Water Works 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 $0.53 (0.8%) to $63.55 on average volume. Thus far, 457,706 shares of ONEOK exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 967,800 shares. The stock has ranged in price between $62.81-$63.61 after having opened the day at $63.03 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $63.02.

ONEOK, Inc. operates as a diversified energy company in the United States. ONEOK has a market cap of $13.2 billion and is part of the utilities industry. Shares are up 1.4% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Monday. 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 revenue growth, notable return on equity, increase in net income and solid stock price performance. 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, PPL ( PPL) is up $0.19 (0.6%) to $33.19 on light volume. Thus far, 1.5 million shares of PPL exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 4.3 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $32.91-$33.32 after having opened the day at $33.01 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $33.00.

PPL Corporation, an energy and utility holding company, generates, transmits, distributes, and sells electricity to wholesale and retail customers in the Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Virginia, Tennessee, and the United Kingdom. The company operates in four segments: Kentucky Regulated, U.K. PPL has a market cap of $21.9 billion and is part of the utilities industry. Shares are up 9.7% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are 5 analysts who rate PPL a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 7 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates PPL as a buy. Among the primary strengths of the company is its expanding profit margins over time. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income. Get the full PPL 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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