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 16,550 as of Wednesday, Oct. 22, 2014, 12:55 PM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,484 issues advancing vs. 1,529 declining with 144 unchanged.

The Utilities sector currently sits up 0.4% versus the S&P 500, which is down 0.1%. Top gainers within the sector include Energy Company of Parana ( ELP), up 4.2%, NRG Energy ( NRG), up 2.5%, Calpine ( CPN), up 2.3%, Empresa Nacional de Electricidad ( EOC), up 1.9% and Entergy ( ETR), up 1.1%. On the negative front, top decliners within the sector include TransAlta ( TAC), down 3.8%, and TransCanada ( TRP), down 0.7%.

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

3. PPL ( PPL) is one of the companies pushing the Utilities sector higher today. As of noon trading, PPL is up $0.35 (1.0%) to $34.29 on average volume. Thus far, 1.7 million shares of PPL exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 4.1 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $33.97-$34.49 after having opened the day at $34.00 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $33.94.

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

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 $22.5 billion and is part of the utilities industry. Shares are up 12.8% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. 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. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its expanding profit margins and solid stock price performance. 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.

STOCKS TO BUY: 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, NextEra Energy ( NEE) is up $1.09 (1.1%) to $96.61 on average volume. Thus far, 970,381 shares of NextEra Energy exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1.8 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $95.32-$97.16 after having opened the day at $95.34 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $95.52.

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

NextEra Energy, Inc., through its subsidiaries, generates, transmits, distributes, and sells electric energy in the United States and Canada. The company generates electricity from gas, oil, solar, coal, petroleum coke, and nuclear sources. NextEra Energy has a market cap of $41.5 billion and is part of the utilities industry. Shares are up 11.6% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 11 analysts who rate NextEra Energy a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 4 rate it a hold.

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

STOCKS TO BUY: 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, Southern ( SO) is up $0.25 (0.5%) to $47.18 on average volume. Thus far, 2.8 million shares of Southern exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 5.0 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $46.85-$47.39 after having opened the day at $46.88 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $46.93.

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

The Southern Company, together with its subsidiaries, operates as a public electric utility company. Southern has a market cap of $41.9 billion and is part of the utilities industry. Shares are up 14.2% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 2 analysts who rate Southern a buy, 3 analysts rate it a sell, and 8 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Southern as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its compelling growth in net income, revenue growth, solid stock price performance, impressive record of earnings per share growth and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow. Get the full Southern Ratings Report now.

STOCKS TO BUY: 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).

null