Apache Corporation

(

APA

) pushed the Basic Materials sector higher today making it today's featured basic materials winner. The sector as a whole closed the day up 5.2%. By the end of trading, Apache Corporation rose $6.48 (7%) to $99.44 on average volume. Throughout the day, 4.2 million shares of Apache Corporation exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3.6 million shares. The stock ranged in a price between $97.30-$99.94 after having opened the day at $97.75 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $92.96. Other companies within the Basic Materials sector that increased today were:

Avalon Rare Metals Inc

(

AVL

), up 23.3%,

James River Coal Company

(

JRCC

), up 21.4%,

Patriot Coal Corporation

(

PCX

), up 19.9%, and

TPC Group Inc

(

TPCG

), up 19.8%.

Apache Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, operates as an independent energy company. It engages in the exploration, development, and production of natural gas, crude oil, and natural gas liquids (NGLs). Apache Corporation has a market cap of $34.9 billion and is part of the

energy

industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 8.9, equal to the average energy industry P/E ratio and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 22% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Apache as a

hold

. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, impressive record of earnings per share growth and expanding profit margins. However, as a counter to these strengths, we find that the stock has had a generally disappointing performance in the past year.

On the negative front,

Cano Petroleum Inc

(

CFW

), down 42.7%,

Pure Bioscience Inc

(

PURE

), down 13.9%,

BioFuel Energy Corporation

(

BIOF

), down 10.1%, and

WSP Holdings

(

WH

), down 9.8%, were all losers within the basic materials sector with

Sunoco Logistics Partners

(

SXL

) being today's basic materials sector loser.

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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