3 Stocks Raising The Services 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.

All three major indices are trading down today with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) trading down 25 points (-0.1%) at 18,080 as of Tuesday, May 12, 2015, 12:55 PM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,119 issues advancing vs. 1,860 declining with 154 unchanged.

The Services sector currently sits down 0.6% versus the S&P 500, which is down 0.3%. Top gainers within the sector include Sprouts Farmers Market ( SFM), up 3.5%, Cencosud ( CNCO), up 3.1%, Yum Brands ( YUM), up 1.2%, Starbucks ( SBUX), up 0.9% and Las Vegas Sands ( LVS), up 0.8%. On the negative front, top decliners within the sector include WageWorks ( WAGE), down 16.2%, 51job ( JOBS), down 14.2%, YY ( YY), down 6.4%, Vipshop Holdings ( VIPS), down 4.2% and Avis Budget Group ( CAR), down 4.2%.

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

3. Directv ( DTV) is one of the companies pushing the Services sector higher today. As of noon trading, Directv is up $1.19 (1.3%) to $90.57 on heavy volume. Thus far, 2.4 million shares of Directv exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2.3 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $88.47-$90.67 after having opened the day at $88.97 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $89.38.

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DIRECTV, a digital television entertainment company, engages in the direct-to-home (DTH) business in the United States and Latin America. It acquires, promotes, sells, and distributes digital entertainment programming primarily through satellite to residential and commercial subscribers. Directv has a market cap of $45.1 billion and is part of the media industry. Shares are up 3.1% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there is 1 analyst who rates Directv a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 14 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Directv as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its growth in earnings per share, increase in net income and revenue growth. However, as a counter to these strengths, we find that the stock has experienced relatively poor performance when compared with the S&P 500 during the past year. Get the full Directv Ratings Report now.

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2. As of noon trading, Lowe's Companies ( LOW) is up $0.44 (0.6%) to $73.66 on average volume. Thus far, 2.1 million shares of Lowe's Companies exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 4.7 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $72.94-$73.67 after having opened the day at $73.35 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $73.22.

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Lowe's Companies, Inc. operates as a home improvement retailer. The company offers products for maintenance, repair, remodeling, and home decorating. Lowe's Companies has a market cap of $69.7 billion and is part of the retail industry. Shares are up 6.5% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are 12 analysts who rate Lowe's Companies a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 8 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Lowe's Companies as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income, revenue growth, notable return on equity and solid stock price performance. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had generally high debt management risk by most measures that we evaluated. Get the full Lowe's Companies Ratings Report now.

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1. As of noon trading, Wal-Mart Stores ( WMT) is up $0.90 (1.1%) to $79.00 on average volume. Thus far, 4.9 million shares of Wal-Mart Stores exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 6.7 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $77.87-$79.48 after having opened the day at $78.02 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $78.10.

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Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. operates retail stores in various formats worldwide. The company operates through three segments: Walmart U.S., Walmart International, and Sam's Club. Wal-Mart Stores has a market cap of $253.3 billion and is part of the retail industry. Shares are down 8.6% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are 5 analysts who rate Wal-Mart Stores a buy, 2 analysts rate it a sell, and 14 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Wal-Mart Stores as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, reasonable valuation levels, good cash flow from operations, increase in net income and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat disappointing return on equity. Get the full Wal-Mart Stores Ratings Report now.

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If you are interested in one of these 3 stocks, ETFs may be of interest. Investors who are bullish on the services sector could consider iShares Dow Jones US Cons Services ( IYC) while those bearish on the services sector could consider ProShares Ultra Short Consumer Sers ( SCC).

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