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%. On the negative front, top decliners within the sector include TransCanada ( TRP), down 1.3%, and Dominion Resources ( D), down 0.7%. 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%.

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

3. American Water Works ( AWK) is one of the companies pushing the Utilities sector lower today. As of noon trading, American Water Works is down $1.04 (-1.5%) to $68.93 on average volume. Thus far, 855,549 shares of American Water Works exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2.1 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $68.86-$70.02 after having opened the day at $69.99 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $69.97.

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American Water Works Company, Inc., through its subsidiaries, provides water and wastewater services in the United States and Canada. The company offers water and wastewater services to approximately 1,600 communities in 16 states. American Water Works has a market cap of $12.2 billion and is part of the utilities industry. Shares are up 17.1% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 7 analysts that rate American Water Works a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 5 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates American Water Works as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its growth in earnings per share, revenue growth, good cash flow from operations, solid stock price performance and increase in net income. 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 American Water Works Ratings Report now.

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2. As of noon trading, FirstEnergy ( FE) is down $0.30 (-0.8%) to $35.87 on average volume. Thus far, 2.1 million shares of FirstEnergy exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 4.0 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $35.84-$36.20 after having opened the day at $36.16 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $36.17.

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FirstEnergy Corp., through its subsidiaries, generates, transmits, and distributes electricity in the United States. The company operates through Regulated Distribution, Regulated Transmission, and Competitive Energy Services segments. FirstEnergy has a market cap of $15.1 billion and is part of the utilities industry. Shares are up 14.0% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 6 analysts that rate FirstEnergy a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 7 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates FirstEnergy as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income, good cash flow from operations and solid stock price performance. 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 FirstEnergy Ratings Report now.

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1. As of noon trading, PPL ( PPL) is down $0.29 (-0.8%) to $37.28 on average volume. Thus far, 2.7 million shares of PPL exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 5.1 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $37.15-$37.67 after having opened the day at $37.44 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $37.57.

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PPL Corporation, a utility company, delivers electricity and natural gas in the United States and the United Kingdom. PPL has a market cap of $24.7 billion and is part of the utilities industry. Shares are up 10.1% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 7 analysts that rate PPL a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 4 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates PPL as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its notable return on equity, good cash flow from operations, expanding profit margins 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 PPL 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).