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

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 higher today making it today's featured basic materials winner. The sector as a whole was unchanged today. By the end of trading, Marathon Petroleum rose $1.32 (2.1%) to $64.31 on average volume. Throughout the day, 4,465,168 shares of Marathon Petroleum exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3,192,800 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $62.51-$64.69 after having opened the day at $63.01 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $62.99. Other companies within the Basic Materials sector that increased today were: L & L Energy ( LLEN), up 46.8%, Tasman Metals ( TAS), up 15.7%, China Gengsheng Minerals ( CHGS), up 14.3% and Ceres ( CERE), up 12.5%.

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 $20.2 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are up 2.4% 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, attractive valuation levels, solid stock price performance, 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 negative front, Kimber Resources ( KBXR), down 25.4%, Kimber Resources ( KBX), down 25.4%, WSP Holdings ( WH), down 22.1% and Amyris ( AMRS), down 10.2% , were all laggards within the basic materials sector with Peabody Energy Corporation ( BTU) being today's basic materials sector laggard.

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).

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