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 153.49 points (-0.9%) at 16,461 as of Wednesday, Oct. 22, 2014, 4:35 PM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 2,410 issues advancing vs. 704 declining with 100 unchanged.

The Materials & Construction industry as a whole closed the day up 1.3% versus the S&P 500, which was down 0.7%. Top gainers within the Materials & Construction industry included Avalon Holdings ( AWX), up 2.5%, Tecnoglass ( TGLS), up 1.8%, Industrial Services of America ( IDSA), up 3.0%, UCP ( UCP), up 2.3% and Sterling Construction ( STRL), up 4.1%.

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

Sterling Construction ( STRL) is one of the companies that pushed the Materials & Construction industry higher today. Sterling Construction was up $0.32 (4.1%) to $8.17 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 149,460 shares of Sterling Construction exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 67,200 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $7.92-$8.21 after having opened the day at $7.95 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $7.85.

Sterling Construction Company, Inc. operates as a heavy civil construction company in Texas, Utah, Nevada, Arizona, California, Hawaii, and other states of the United States. Sterling Construction has a market cap of $153.5 million and is part of the industrial goods sector. Shares are down 30.4% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 2 analysts who rate Sterling Construction a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 1 rates it a hold.

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TheStreet Ratings rates Sterling Construction 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 good cash flow from operations. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including disappointing return on equity, a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself and poor profit margins.

Highlights from TheStreet Ratings analysis on STRL go as follows:

  • The revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 11.9%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 46.1%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • STRL's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.14 and is currently below that of the industry average, implying that there has been very successful management of debt levels. Along with the favorable debt-to-equity ratio, the company maintains an adequate quick ratio of 1.11, which illustrates the ability to avoid short-term cash problems.
  • STERLING CONSTRUCTION CO INC 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, STERLING CONSTRUCTION CO INC reported poor results of -$4.90 versus -$0.27 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($0.35 versus -$4.90).
  • STRL has underperformed the S&P 500 Index, declining 8.76% from its price level of one year ago. The fact that the stock is now selling for less than others in its industry in relation to its current earnings is not reason enough to justify a buy rating at this time.
  • 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 Construction & Engineering industry and the overall market, STERLING CONSTRUCTION CO INC'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: Sterling Construction 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, UCP ( UCP) was up $0.29 (2.3%) to $13.15 on light volume. Throughout the day, 15,394 shares of UCP exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 31,600 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $12.87-$13.15 after having opened the day at $13.00 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $12.86.

UCP, Inc. operates as a homebuilder and land developer in California and Washington, the United States. The company operates in two segments, Homebuilding and Land Development. It designs, constructs, and sells single-family homes under the Benchmark Communities brand name. UCP has a market cap of $104.7 million and is part of the industrial goods sector. Shares are down 12.2% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are no analysts who rate UCP a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 1 rates it a hold.

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TheStreet Ratings rates UCP 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 notable return on equity. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including poor profit margins and weak operating cash flow.

Highlights from TheStreet Ratings analysis on UCP go as follows:

  • UCP's very impressive revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 5.8%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues leaped by 129.4%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • The current debt-to-equity ratio, 0.52, is low and is below the industry average, implying that there has been successful management of debt levels.
  • Compared to other companies in the Household Durables industry and the overall market, UCP INC's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • The gross profit margin for UCP INC is rather low; currently it is at 18.80%. It has decreased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 0.28% trails that of the industry average.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly decreased to -$9.47 million or 409.41% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, when comparing to the industry average, the firm's growth rate is much lower.

You can view the full analysis from the report here: UCP 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.

Industrial Services of America ( IDSA) was another company that pushed the Materials & Construction industry higher today. Industrial Services of America was up $0.17 (3.0%) to $5.87 on light volume. Throughout the day, 4,285 shares of Industrial Services of America exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 13,000 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $5.68-$5.87 after having opened the day at $5.68 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $5.70.

Industrial Services of America, Inc. operates as a recycler of stainless steel, ferrous, and non-ferrous scrap. The company operates in two segments, Recycling and Waste Services. Industrial Services of America has a market cap of $45.4 million and is part of the industrial goods sector. Shares are up 79.8% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are no analysts who rate Industrial Services of America a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and none rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Industrial Services of America as a sell. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its disappointing return on equity, weak operating cash flow and poor profit margins.

Highlights from TheStreet Ratings analysis on IDSA go as follows:

  • 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, INDUSTRIAL SERVICES AMER 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 -$4.11 million or 2062.63% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, when comparing to the industry average, the firm's growth rate is much lower.
  • The gross profit margin for INDUSTRIAL SERVICES AMER INC is currently extremely low, coming in at 8.03%. Regardless of IDSA's low profit margin, it has managed to increase from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, IDSA's net profit margin of -2.23% significantly underperformed when compared to the industry average.
  • The company, on the basis of net income growth from the same quarter one year ago, has significantly underperformed compared to the Commercial Services & Supplies industry average, but is greater than that of the S&P 500. The net income increased by 48.2% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from -$1.24 million to -$0.64 million.
  • The revenue fell significantly faster than the industry average of 4.5%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues fell by 28.6%. The declining revenue has not hurt the company's bottom line, with increasing earnings per share.

You can view the full analysis from the report here: Industrial Services of America 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.