WGP, MDU And EQT, 3 Utilities Stocks Pushing The Sector Lower

Two out of the three major indices are trading up today with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) trading down 36 points (-0.2%) at 15,908 as of Thursday, Jan. 28, 2016, 11:55 AM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,930 issues advancing vs. 1,011 declining with 153 unchanged.

The Utilities sector currently sits up 1.4% versus the S&P 500, which is up 0.1%. Top gainers within the sector include ONEOK ( OKE), up 4.8%, TransCanada ( TRP), up 2.3%, Xcel Energy ( XEL), up 1.7%, Public Service Enterprise Group ( PEG), up 1.5% and PG&E ( PCG), up 1.3%.

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

3. Western Gas Equity Partners ( WGP) is one of the companies pushing the Utilities sector lower today. As of noon trading, Western Gas Equity Partners is down $0.35 (-1.3%) to $27.04 on light volume. Thus far, 56,305 shares of Western Gas Equity Partners exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 366,300 shares. The stock has ranged in price between $27.00-$28.94 after having opened the day at $28.63 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $27.39.

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Western Gas Equity Partners, LP engages in gathering, processing, compressing, treating, and transporting natural gas, condensate, natural gas liquids, and crude oil in the United States. Western Gas Equity Partners has a market cap of $6.2 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are down 21.7% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 5 analysts that rate Western Gas Equity Partners a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 7 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Western Gas Equity Partners as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, impressive record of earnings per share growth and compelling growth in net income. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself and generally higher debt management risk. Get the full Western Gas Equity Partners Ratings Report now.

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2. As of noon trading, MDU Resources Group ( MDU) is down $0.42 (-2.6%) to $15.97 on average volume. Thus far, 1.1 million shares of MDU Resources Group exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1.5 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $15.96-$16.69 after having opened the day at $16.57 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $16.39.

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MDU Resources Group, Inc. operates as a diversified natural resource company in the United States. The company's Electric segment generates, transmits, and distributes electricity in Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming. MDU Resources Group has a market cap of $3.2 billion and is part of the materials & construction industry. Shares are down 11.3% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 2 analysts that rate MDU Resources Group a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 4 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates MDU Resources Group as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, attractive valuation levels and good cash flow from operations. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including deteriorating net income, poor profit margins and feeble growth in the company's earnings per share. Get the full MDU Resources Group Ratings Report now.

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1. As of noon trading, EQT ( EQT) is down $1.10 (-1.8%) to $58.87 on light volume. Thus far, 726,434 shares of EQT exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2.2 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $58.76-$62.82 after having opened the day at $62.41 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $59.97.

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EQT Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, operates as a natural gas company in the United States. It operates in two segments, EQT Production and EQT Midstream. EQT has a market cap of $9.3 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are up 17.5% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 10 analysts that rate EQT a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 4 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates EQT as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and expanding profit margins. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself, disappointing return on equity and weak operating cash flow. Get the full EQT 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).