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4 Stocks Pushing The Basic Materials Sector Higher

Editor's Note: TheStreet ratings do not represent the views of TheStreet's staff or its contributors. Ratings are established by computer based on metrics for performance (which includes growth, stock performance, efficiency and valuation) and risk (volatility and solvency). Companies with poor cash flow or high debt levels tend to earn lower ratings in our model

The  Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) steady at 13,953 as of Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2013, 11:50 AM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,129 issues advancing vs. 1,699 declining with 163 unchanged.

The Basic Materials sector currently is unchanged today versus the S&P 500, which is down 0.0%. A company within the sector that increased today was Total ( TOT), up 1.1%. On the negative front, top decliners within the sector include Halliburton Company ( HAL), down 1.5%, and PetroChina ( PTR), down 1.0%.

TheStreet Ratings group would like to highlight 4 stocks pushing the sector higher today:

4. Copano Energy ( CPNO) is one of the companies pushing the Basic Materials sector higher today. As of noon trading, Copano Energy is up $4.95 (14.9%) to $38.08 on heavy volume Thus far, 3.7 million shares of Copano Energy exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 303,000 shares. The stock has ranged in price between $36.53-$39.37 after having opened the day at $38.10 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $33.13.

Copano Energy, L.L.C. provides midstream services to natural gas producers in the United States. The company's services include natural gas gathering, compression, dehydration, treating, marketing, transportation, processing, and fractionation. Copano Energy has a market cap of $2.6 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are up 5.7% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 5 analysts that rate Copano Energy a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 8 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Copano Energy as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, compelling growth in net income, good cash flow from operations, impressive record of earnings per share growth and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had generally high debt management risk by most measures that we evaluated. Get the full Copano Energy Ratings Report now.

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3. As of noon trading, Chesapeake Energy ( CHK) is up $1.02 (5.4%) to $19.98 on heavy volume Thus far, 45.7 million shares of Chesapeake Energy exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 13.3 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $19.91-$21.20 after having opened the day at $21.01 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $18.97.

Chesapeake Energy Corporation engages in the acquisition, exploration, development, and production of natural gas and oil properties in the United States. The company also offers marketing, midstream, drilling, and other oilfield services. Chesapeake Energy has a market cap of $12.6 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are up 13.9% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 9 analysts that rate Chesapeake Energy a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 18 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Chesapeake Energy as a hold. The company's strongest point has been its a solid financial position based on a variety of debt and liquidity measures that we have looked at. At the same time, however, 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 Chesapeake Energy Ratings Report now.

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2. As of noon trading, Occidental Petroleum Corporation ( OXY) is up $0.95 (1.1%) to $86.06 on average volume Thus far, 2.1 million shares of Occidental Petroleum Corporation exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 4.6 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $85.04-$86.15 after having opened the day at $85.16 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $85.11.

Occidental Petroleum Corporation engages in the exploration and production of oil and gas properties in the United States and internationally. The company operates in three segments: Oil and Gas; Chemical; and Midstream, Marketing, and Other. Occidental Petroleum Corporation has a market cap of $67.9 billion and is part of the energy industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 11.5, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 9.4% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 11 analysts that rate Occidental Petroleum Corporation a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 8 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Occidental Petroleum Corporation as a buy. 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. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income. Get the full Occidental Petroleum Corporation Ratings Report now.

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1. As of noon trading, Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold ( FCX) is up $0.53 (1.5%) to $35.54 on average volume Thus far, 7.5 million shares of Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 19.6 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $35.27-$35.74 after having opened the day at $35.50 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $35.01.

Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc. engages in the exploration, mining, and production of mineral resources. The company primarily explores for copper, gold, molybdenum, cobalt hydroxide, silver, and other metals, such as rhenium and magnetite. Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold has a market cap of $32.8 billion and is part of the metals & mining industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 10.8, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 1.1% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 9 analysts that rate Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 4 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and increase in net income. However, as a counter to these strengths, we find that the stock has had a generally disappointing performance in the past year. Get the full Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Ratings Report now.

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If you are interested in one of these 4 stocks, ETFs may be of interest. Investors who are bullish on the basic materials sector could consider Materials Select Sector SPDR ( XLB) while those bearish on the basic materials sector could consider ProShares Short Basic Materials Fd ( SBM).

A reminder about TheStreet Ratings group: TheStreet ratings do not represent the views of TheStreet's staff or its contributors. Ratings are established by computer based on metrics for performance (which includes growth, stock performance, efficiency and valuation) and risk (volatility and solvency). Companies with poor cash flow or high debt levels tend to earn lower ratings in our model.

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