3 Utilities Stocks Driving The Sector Higher

All three major indices are trading up today with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) trading up 104 points (0.6%) at 17,586 as of Friday, March 18, 2016, 12:55 PM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,835 issues advancing vs. 1,105 declining with 153 unchanged.

The Utilities sector currently sits down 0.2% versus the S&P 500, which is up 0.4%. Top gainers within the sector include EQT ( EQT), up 1.5%, Korea Electric Power ( KEP), up 0.8%, PG&E ( PCG), up 0.8%, Sempra Energy ( SRE), up 0.7% and Consolidated Edison ( ED), up 0.6%. On the negative front, top decliners within the sector include TransCanada ( TRP), down 1.3%, and Dominion Resources ( D), down 0.7%.

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

3. Huaneng Power International ( HNP) is one of the companies pushing the Utilities sector higher today. As of noon trading, Huaneng Power International is up $1.21 (3.4%) to $37.01 on average volume. Thus far, 33,853 shares of Huaneng Power International exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 63,500 shares. The stock has ranged in price between $36.69-$37.10 after having opened the day at $36.75 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $35.80.

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Huaneng Power International, Inc., an independent power producer, generates and sells electricity and heat to the regional or provincial grid companies in the People's Republic of China and Singapore. Huaneng Power International has a market cap of $12.6 billion and is part of the utilities industry. Shares are up 4.4% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there is 1 analyst who rates Huaneng Power International a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 1 rates it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Huaneng Power International as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its growth in earnings per share, compelling growth in net income and notable return on equity. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including generally higher debt management risk and a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself. Get the full Huaneng Power International Ratings Report now.

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2. As of noon trading, Empresa Nacional de Electricidad ( EOC) is up $0.40 (0.9%) to $42.67 on average volume. Thus far, 60,698 shares of Empresa Nacional de Electricidad exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 107,600 shares. The stock has ranged in price between $42.35-$42.75 after having opened the day at $42.44 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $42.27.

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Empresa Nacional de Electricidad S.A., an electricity utility company, engages in the generation and transmission of electricity in Chile, Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, and Peru. The company generates electricity through hydroelectric, thermal, and wind power sources. Empresa Nacional de Electricidad has a market cap of $11.2 billion and is part of the utilities industry. Shares are up 14.1% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there is 1 analyst who rates Empresa Nacional de Electricidad a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 1 rates it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Empresa Nacional de Electricidad 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 weak operating cash flow, disappointing return on equity and feeble growth in the company's earnings per share. Get the full Empresa Nacional de Electricidad Ratings Report now.

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1. As of noon trading, Ameren ( AEE) is up $0.41 (0.8%) to $49.31 on average volume. Thus far, 1.2 million shares of Ameren exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2.1 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $48.42-$49.42 after having opened the day at $49.03 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $48.90.

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Ameren Corporation operates as a public utility holding company in the United States. The company engages in the rate-regulated electric generation, transmission, and distribution in Missouri; and rate-regulated natural gas transmission and distribution businesses in Illinois. Ameren has a market cap of $11.7 billion and is part of the utilities industry. Shares are up 13.1% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 4 analysts who rate Ameren a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 4 rate it a hold.

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