It isn't every day that some of the biggest edges are hiding in
the utilities sector.
But as traders and investors take profits in the wake of sizable
runs in stocks from
), the only people not selling utilities stocks are those wondering
when to get in.
Utilities stocks have been some of the best performers in recent
Utilities Select Sector SPDRS ETF
), for example, rallied to a new, 52-week high just last week,
after gaining more than 15% in 2011. Utilities stocks like
) soared by more than 30%.
So it isn't surprising that who have enjoyed these great gains
have decided to take at least some profits off the table. The
important question is what kind of potential opportunity any
sustained profit-taking - or even profit-taking turned to panic
selling - might create for for the rest of the active investing
community in the short-term.
Heading into trading on Thursday, all three of the utilities
stocks in today's report are on pace to open in oversold territory.
Shares of Duke Energy closed lower for a third day in a row on
Wednesday to finish
for the first time in a month. Also trading marginally lower ahead
of Thursday's trading is Southern Company, though Wednesday's
finish marks SO's
second consecutive close
in oversold territory rather than merely its first.
And pulling back by nearly 1% on Wednesday has also lowered
Nisource to levels where buyers historically have begun to test the
market. Wednesday also was the third lower close in a row for
shares of NI.
All three stocks have neutral ratings as of Wednesday's finish,
although Southern Company stands a point above the others with its
7 out of 10 rating. As such, additional selling in the second half
of the week will be required to bring these stocks up to "consider
buying" territory as far as their ratings go. Lastly, of the three,
Southern Company has a slightly larger, positive, short-term edge
of more than half a percent.
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