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 173.45 points (-1.1%) at 16,142 as of Wednesday, Oct. 15, 2014, 4:20 PM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,470 issues advancing vs. 1,677 declining with 92 unchanged.

The Wholesale industry as a whole closed the day up 2.1% versus the S&P 500, which was down 0.8%. Top gainers within the Wholesale industry included Taitron Components ( TAIT), up 2.4%, Armco Metals Holdings ( AMCO), up 7.8%, China Auto Logistics ( CALI), up 83.3%, Peerless Systems ( PRLS), up 3.1% and NL Industries ( NL), up 2.0%.

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

NL Industries ( NL) is one of the companies that pushed the Wholesale industry higher today. NL Industries was up $0.14 (2.0%) to $7.09 on average volume. Throughout the day, 17,095 shares of NL Industries exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 14,100 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $6.87-$7.11 after having opened the day at $7.04 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $6.95.

NL Industries, Inc., through its subsidiary, CompX International Inc., operates in the component products industry in the United States and internationally. NL Industries has a market cap of $336.9 million and is part of the services sector. Shares are down 37.8% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are no analysts who rate NL Industries a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and none rate it a hold.

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TheStreet Ratings rates NL Industries as a hold. 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 and expanding profit margins. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including disappointing return on equity and a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself.

Highlights from TheStreet Ratings analysis on NL go as follows:

  • NL's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 4.5%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 11.7%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • NL 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 2.74, which clearly demonstrates the ability to cover short-term cash needs.
  • NL INDUSTRIES reported significant earnings per share improvement in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. This company has reported somewhat volatile earnings recently. But, we feel it is poised for EPS growth in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, NL INDUSTRIES swung to a loss, reporting -$1.13 versus $1.16 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($0.45 versus -$1.13).
  • NL's stock share price has done very poorly compared to where it was a year ago: Despite any rallies, the net result is that it is down by 37.01%, which is also worse that the performance of the S&P 500 Index. Investors have so far failed to pay much attention to the earnings improvements the company has managed to achieve over the last 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.
  • 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 Commercial Services & Supplies industry and the overall market, NL INDUSTRIES's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.

You can view the full analysis from the report here: NL Industries 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.

At the close, Peerless Systems ( PRLS) was up $0.14 (3.1%) to $4.60 on light volume. Throughout the day, 843 shares of Peerless Systems exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 13,600 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $4.46-$4.65 after having opened the day at $4.46 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $4.46.

Peerless Systems Corporation develops and licenses software-based digital imaging and networking systems and supporting electronic technologies to original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) of digital document products located primarily in the United States and Japan. Peerless Systems has a market cap of $12.2 million and is part of the services sector. Shares are up 22.6% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are no analysts who rate Peerless Systems a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and none rate 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 Peerless Systems as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, increase in net income and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including disappointing return on equity and weak operating cash flow.

Highlights from TheStreet Ratings analysis on PRLS go as follows:

  • Looking at where the stock is today compared to one year ago, we find that it is not only higher, but it has also clearly outperformed the rise in the S&P 500 over the same period. Although other factors naturally played a role, the company's strong earnings growth was key. Despite the fact that it has already risen in the past year, there is currently no conclusive evidence that warrants the purchase or sale of this stock.
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Software industry. The net income increased by 134.1% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from -$0.40 million to $0.14 million.
  • The revenue fell significantly faster than the industry average of 11.6%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues fell by 32.8%. The declining revenue has not hurt the company's bottom line, with increasing earnings per share.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly decreased to -$0.41 million or 140.85% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, when comparing to the industry average, the firm's growth rate is much lower.
  • 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 Software industry and the overall market, PEERLESS SYSTEMS CORP's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.

You can view the full analysis from the report here: Peerless Systems 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.

China Auto Logistics ( CALI) was another company that pushed the Wholesale industry higher today. China Auto Logistics was up $0.60 (83.3%) to $1.32 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 369,769 shares of China Auto Logistics exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 24,200 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $0.80-$1.68 after having opened the day at $0.80 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $0.72.

China Auto Logistics Inc. sells and trades in imported automobiles in the People's Republic of China. China Auto Logistics has a market cap of $4.2 million and is part of the services sector. Shares are down 79.8% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are no analysts who rate China Auto Logistics a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and none rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates China Auto Logistics 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, generally high debt management risk, disappointing return on equity and poor profit margins.

Highlights from TheStreet Ratings analysis on CALI go as follows:

  • The debt-to-equity ratio is very high at 3.51 and currently higher than the industry average, implying increased risk associated with the management of debt levels within the company. Along with the unfavorable debt-to-equity ratio, CALI maintains a poor quick ratio of 0.72, which illustrates the inability to avoid short-term cash problems.
  • 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. Compared to other companies in the Specialty Retail industry and the overall market, CHINA AUTO LOGISTICS INC's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • The gross profit margin for CHINA AUTO LOGISTICS INC is currently extremely low, coming in at 0.92%. It has decreased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of -1.62% trails that of the industry average.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly decreased to -$13.35 million or 621.85% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, when comparing to the industry average, the firm's growth rate is much lower.
  • CHINA AUTO LOGISTICS 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. The company has reported a trend of declining earnings per share over the past two years. During the past fiscal year, CHINA AUTO LOGISTICS INC reported lower earnings of $0.16 versus $0.67 in the prior year.

You can view the full analysis from the report here: China Auto Logistics 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.