Utilities Stocks On The Rise With Help From 3 Stocks

All three major indices are trading up today with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) trading up 44 points (0.2%) at 18,603 as of Wednesday, July 20, 2016, 12:55 PM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,983 issues advancing vs. 916 declining with 144 unchanged.

The Utilities sector currently sits up 0.8% versus the S&P 500, which is up 0.4%. A company within the sector that increased today was Huaneng Power International ( HNP), up 4.3%. On the negative front, top decliners within the sector include TransCanada ( TRP), down 0.8%, Duke Energy ( DUK), down 0.8%, PPL ( PPL), down 0.6%, NextEra Energy ( NEE), down 0.6% and Exelon ( EXC), down 0.6%.

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

3. Energy Company of Minas Gerais ( CIG) is one of the companies pushing the Utilities sector higher today. As of noon trading, Energy Company of Minas Gerais is up $0.07 (2.6%) to $2.72 on heavy volume. Thus far, 3.7 million shares of Energy Company of Minas Gerais exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 4.8 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $2.60-$2.75 after having opened the day at $2.65 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $2.65.

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Companhia Energetica de Minas Gerais S.A., through its subsidiaries, engages in the generation, transformation, transmission, distribution, and sale of electric energy primarily in Minas Gerais, Brazil. Energy Company of Minas Gerais has a market cap of $3.4 billion and is part of the utilities industry. Shares are up 76.7% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there is 1 analyst who rates Energy Company of Minas Gerais a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and none rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Energy Company of Minas Gerais as a sell. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its feeble growth in its earnings per share, deteriorating net income, weak operating cash flow and generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself. Get the full Energy Company of Minas Gerais Ratings Report now.

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2. As of noon trading, Western Gas Equity Partners ( WGP) is up $0.37 (1.0%) to $38.63 on light volume. Thus far, 42,907 shares of Western Gas Equity Partners exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 497,900 shares. The stock has ranged in price between $37.97-$38.65 after having opened the day at $37.97 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $38.26.

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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 $8.4 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are up 5.4% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 2 analysts who rate Western Gas Equity Partners a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 7 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Western Gas Equity Partners as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its compelling growth in net income, notable return on equity, expanding profit margins, good cash flow from operations and impressive record of earnings per share growth. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself. Get the full Western Gas Equity Partners Ratings Report now.

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1. As of noon trading, Targa Resources ( TRGP) is up $0.68 (1.6%) to $42.00 on average volume. Thus far, 1.1 million shares of Targa Resources exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2.4 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $39.61-$42.00 after having opened the day at $41.08 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $41.32.

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Targa Resources Corp., through its general and limited partner interests in Targa Resources Partners LP, provides midstream natural gas and natural gas liquid (NGL) services in the United States. The company operates in two divisions, Gathering and Processing, and Logistics and Marketing. Targa Resources has a market cap of $6.9 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are up 52.7% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 3 analysts who rate Targa Resources a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 11 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Targa Resources as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its reasonable valuation levels and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including feeble growth in the company's earnings per share, deteriorating net income and disappointing return on equity. Get the full Targa Resources 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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