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Marathon Petroleum Corp (MPC): Today's Featured Basic Materials Laggard

Editor's Note: Any reference to TheStreet Ratings and its underlying recommendation does not reflect the opinion of TheStreet, Inc. or any of its contributors including Jim Cramer or Stephanie Link.

Marathon Petroleum (MPC) pushed the Basic Materials sector lower today making it today's featured Basic Materials laggard. The sector as a whole closed the day down 1.7%. By the end of trading, Marathon Petroleum fell $1.71 (-2.3%) to $73.10 on average volume. Throughout the day, 3,199,396 shares of Marathon Petroleum exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3,060,900 shares. The stock ranged in price between $72.70-$74.48 after having opened the day at $73.57 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $74.81. Other companies within the Basic Materials sector that declined today were: Vista Gold Corporation (VGZ), down 15.0%, Golden Star Resources (GSS), down 13.5%, Cardero Resources Corporation (CDY), down 11.7% and Uranerz Energy Corporation (URZ), down 11.1%.

Marathon Petroleum Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, engages in refining, transporting, and marketing petroleum products primarily in the United States. It operates through Refining & Marketing, Speedway, and Pipeline Transportation segments. Marathon Petroleum has a market cap of $23.5 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are up 19.1% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are 7 analysts that rate Marathon Petroleum a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 3 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Marathon Petroleum as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, solid stock price performance, attractive valuation levels, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins.

On the positive front, Global Geophysical Services (GGS), up 17.8%, Sonde Resources (SOQ), up 11.8%, Prospect Global Resources (PGRX), up 8.2% and Pyramid Oil Company (PDO), up 8.1% , were all gainers within the basic materials sector with Statoil ASA (STO) being today's featured basic materials sector leader.

For investors not wanting singular stock exposure, 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).

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12-months. Learn more.

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