All three major indices are trading down today with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) trading down 51 points (-0.3%) at 16,416 as of Monday, Feb. 1, 2016, 11:55 AM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,097 issues advancing vs. 1,872 declining with 189 unchanged.

The Utilities sector currently sits up 0.1% versus the S&P 500, which is down 0.3%. Top gainers within the sector include Questar ( STR), up 22.5%, CenterPoint Energy ( CNP), up 4.1%, Korea Electric Power ( KEP), up 1.6%, Sempra Energy ( SRE), up 1.2% and PG&E ( PCG), up 1.1%. On the negative front, top decliners within the sector include Dominion Resources ( DCUB), down 1.4%, and Dominion Resources ( DCUA), down 1.3%.

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

3. Southern ( SO) is one of the companies pushing the Utilities sector higher today. As of noon trading, Southern is up $0.94 (1.9%) to $49.86 on heavy volume. Thus far, 4.5 million shares of Southern exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 4.8 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $48.79-$49.90 after having opened the day at $48.94 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $48.92.

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The Southern Company, together with its subsidiaries, operates as a public electric utility company. Southern has a market cap of $43.9 billion and is part of the utilities industry. Shares are up 4.5% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there is 1 analyst who rates Southern a buy, 2 analysts rate it a sell, and 9 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Southern as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, growth in earnings per share, increase in net income, expanding profit margins and good cash flow from operations. 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 Southern Ratings Report now.

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2. As of noon trading, Duke Energy Corporation ( DUK) is up $2.02 (2.7%) to $77.32 on heavy volume. Thus far, 2.9 million shares of Duke Energy Corporation exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3.3 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $75.02-$77.38 after having opened the day at $75.21 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $75.30.

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Duke Energy Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, operates as an energy company in the United States and Latin America. It operates through three segments: Regulated Utilities, International Energy, and Commercial Power. Duke Energy Corporation has a market cap of $50.6 billion and is part of the utilities industry. Shares are up 5.5% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are 7 analysts who rate Duke Energy Corporation a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 9 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Duke Energy Corporation as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, expanding profit margins and growth in earnings per share. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself. Get the full Duke Energy Corporation Ratings Report now.

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1. As of noon trading, NextEra Energy ( NEE) is up $0.94 (0.8%) to $112.65 on average volume. Thus far, 1.2 million shares of NextEra Energy exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2.4 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $110.79-$112.70 after having opened the day at $111.23 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $111.71.

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NextEra Energy, Inc., through its subsidiaries, generates, transmits, and distributes electric energy in the United States and Canada. The company generates electricity from gas, oil, solar, coal, petroleum coke, nuclear, and wind sources. NextEra Energy has a market cap of $49.9 billion and is part of the utilities industry. Shares are up 7.5% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are 11 analysts who rate NextEra Energy a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 2 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates NextEra Energy as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its good cash flow from operations and expanding profit margins. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income. Get the full NextEra 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).