3 Utilities Stocks Pushing Sector Growth

All three major indices are trading up today with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) trading up 44 points (0.3%) at 17,560 as of Monday, March 28, 2016, 1:00 PM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,693 issues advancing vs. 1,250 declining with 166 unchanged.

The Utilities sector currently sits down 0.2% versus the S&P 500, which is up 0.2%. Top gainers within the sector include Centrais Eletricas Brasileiras ( EBR.B), up 4.2%, and Centrais Eletricas Brasileiras ( EBR), up 4.0%. On the negative front, top decliners within the sector include NRG Energy ( NRG), down 3.0%, Korea Electric Power ( KEP), down 1.1%, FirstEnergy ( FE), down 1.1% and Entergy ( ETR), down 0.8%.

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

3. Western Gas Equity Partners ( WGP) is one of the companies pushing the Utilities sector higher today. As of noon trading, Western Gas Equity Partners is up $0.36 (1.1%) to $32.48 on light volume. Thus far, 38,640 shares of Western Gas Equity Partners exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 343,500 shares. The stock has ranged in price between $31.39-$32.96 after having opened the day at $32.28 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $32.12.

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Western Gas Equity Partners, LP gathers, processes, compresses, treats, and transports natural gas, condensate, NGLs and crude oil primarily in the United States. Western Gas Equity Partners has a market cap of $7.0 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are down 11.5% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 4 analysts who rate Western Gas Equity Partners a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 6 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, good cash flow from operations and expanding profit margins. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself, deteriorating net income 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, Companhia De Saneamento Basico Do Estado De ( SBS) is up $0.33 (5.4%) to $6.49 on average volume. Thus far, 878,318 shares of Companhia De Saneamento Basico Do Estado De exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2.0 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $6.48-$6.56 after having opened the day at $6.53 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $6.16.

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Companhia de Saneamento Basico do Estado de Sao Paulo - SABESP provides basic and environmental sanitation services; and supplies treated water on a wholesale basis to residential, commercial, industrial, and governmental customers in the state of Sao Paulo. Companhia De Saneamento Basico Do Estado De has a market cap of $4.2 billion and is part of the utilities industry. Shares are up 33.9% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are no analysts who rate Companhia De Saneamento Basico Do Estado De a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 2 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Companhia De Saneamento Basico Do Estado De as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its compelling growth in net income, notable return on equity and attractive valuation levels. However, as a counter to these strengths, we find that we feel that the company's cash flow from its operations has been weak overall. Get the full Companhia De Saneamento Basico Do Estado De Ratings Report now.

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1. As of noon trading, Praxair ( PX) is up $0.84 (0.8%) to $112.58 on light volume. Thus far, 367,523 shares of Praxair exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1.7 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $111.95-$112.64 after having opened the day at $112.06 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $111.74.

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Praxair, Inc. produces, sells, and distributes atmospheric, process, and specialty gases, as well as surface coatings in North America, Europe, South America, and Asia. Praxair has a market cap of $31.8 billion and is part of the chemicals industry. Shares are up 9.1% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 7 analysts who rate Praxair a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 7 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Praxair as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its increase in net income, expanding profit margins and good cash flow from operations. 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 Praxair 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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