NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Valero Energy (VLO - Get Report) shares closed Thursday's trading session down 0.73% to $69.68 as oil prices were falling, due to the strong dollar, Reuters reports.

Crude oil (WTI) for September delivery is declining 2.38% to $42.27 per barrel and Brent crude is also sliding 0.79% to $49.27 per barrel, according to the CNBC.com index.

For the month of July, retail sales went up 0.7% from June, meeting economists' forecasts, according to the Commerce Department. 

Despite global economic concerns including tensions in China and worries in Europe, strong sales from clothing to cars in the U.S. implies that economic growth is growing at a steady pace, The Wall Street Journal reports. 

As a result, the dollar got stronger, while oil prices fell.

Valero Energy operates as an independent petroleum refining and marketing company in the U.S., Canada, the Caribbean, the United Kingdom, and Ireland.

Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates VALERO ENERGY CORP as a Buy with a ratings score of A+. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate VALERO ENERGY CORP (VLO) a BUY. This is based on the convergence of positive investment measures, which should help this stock outperform the majority of stocks that we rate. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and attractive valuation levels. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins."

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • Powered by its strong earnings growth of 118.03% and other important driving factors, this stock has surged by 28.13% over the past year, outperforming the rise in the S&P 500 Index during the same period. Regarding the stock's future course, although almost any stock can fall in a broad market decline, VLO should continue to move higher despite the fact that it has already enjoyed a very nice gain in the past year.
  • VALERO ENERGY CORP reported significant earnings per share improvement in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past two years. We feel that this trend should continue. During the past fiscal year, VALERO ENERGY CORP increased its bottom line by earning $6.98 versus $4.97 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($8.02 versus $6.98).
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry. The net income increased by 129.8% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $588.00 million to $1,351.00 million.
  • The current debt-to-equity ratio, 0.34, is low and is below the industry average, implying that there has been successful management of debt levels.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: VLO Ratings Report