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.

One out of the three major indices are trading lower today with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) trading up 19 points (0.1%) at 18,317 as of Tuesday, May 19, 2015, 12:55 PM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,119 issues advancing vs. 1,843 declining with 190 unchanged.

The Utilities sector currently sits down 0.7% versus the S&P 500, which is unchanged. A company within the sector that increased today was PPL ( PPL), up 0.9%. On the negative front, top decliners within the sector include Centrais Eletricas Brasileiras ( EBR), down 4.6%, Centrais Eletricas Brasileiras ( EBR.B), down 2.8% and TransCanada ( TRP), down 0.7%.

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

3. Calpine ( CPN) is one of the companies pushing the Utilities sector higher today. As of noon trading, Calpine is up $0.20 (1.0%) to $20.96 on average volume. Thus far, 1.7 million shares of Calpine exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3.7 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $20.54-$21.06 after having opened the day at $20.72 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $20.76.

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Calpine Corporation, a wholesale power generation company, owns and operates natural gas-fired and geothermal power plants in North America. It operates natural gas-fired combustion turbines and renewable geothermal conventional steam turbines. Calpine has a market cap of $7.7 billion and is part of the utilities industry. Shares are down 6.2% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are 8 analysts who rate Calpine a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 2 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Calpine as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its compelling growth in net income, notable return on equity and impressive record of earnings per share growth. 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 Calpine Ratings Report now.

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2. As of noon trading, Entergy ( ETR) is up $0.64 (0.8%) to $75.92 on light volume. Thus far, 430,935 shares of Entergy exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1.2 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $74.75-$76.23 after having opened the day at $75.03 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $75.28.

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Entergy Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, engages in the electric power production and retail electric distribution operations in the United States. It operates in two segments, Utility and Entergy Wholesale Commodities. Entergy has a market cap of $13.5 billion and is part of the utilities industry. Shares are down 13.9% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are no analysts who rate Entergy a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 14 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Entergy as a buy. Among the primary strengths of the company is its attractive valuation levels, considering its current price compared to earnings, book value and other measures. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself. Get the full Entergy Ratings Report now.

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1. As of noon trading, Xcel Energy ( XEL) is up $0.20 (0.6%) to $34.36 on average volume. Thus far, 2.4 million shares of Xcel Energy exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3.3 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $33.99-$34.53 after having opened the day at $34.09 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $34.16.

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Xcel Energy Inc., through its subsidiaries, engages primarily in the generation, purchase, transmission, distribution, and sale of electricity in the United States. It operates through Regulated Electric Utility, Regulated Natural Gas Utility, and All Other segments. Xcel Energy has a market cap of $17.1 billion and is part of the utilities industry. Shares are down 4.9% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are 6 analysts who rate Xcel Energy a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 8 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Xcel Energy as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its good cash flow from operations and increase in stock price during the past year. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income. Get the full Xcel Energy 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 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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