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





) pushed the Basic Materials sector lower today making it today's featured Basic Materials laggard. The sector as a whole closed the day down 0.9%. By the end of trading, BP fell 64 cents (-1.5%) to $42.37 on average volume. Throughout the day, 3.9 million shares of BP exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 5.2 million shares. The stock ranged in price between $42.30-$42.95 after having opened the day at $42.83 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $43.01. Other companies within the Basic Materials sector that declined today were:




), down 14%,

Lizhan Environmental



), down 13%,

Omnova Solutions



), down 12.3%, and

Minco Gold Corporation



), down 10.5%.

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BP p.l.c. provides fuel for transportation, energy for heat and light, lubricants to engines, and petrochemicals products. BP has a market cap of $137.23 billion and is part of the


industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 5.4, below the average energy industry P/E ratio of 7.9 and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 1.2% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are nine analysts that rate BP a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and five rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates BP as a


. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its reasonable valuation levels, increase in stock price during the past year and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including deteriorating net income, poor profit margins and weak operating cash flow.

On the positive front,



TheStreet Recommends


), up 24.4%,

Gold Reserve



), up 9.4%,

Golden Star Resources



), up 6.5%, and

Avalon Rare Metals



), up 5.8%, were all gainers within the basic materials sector with

United States Steel Corporation



) 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



) while those bearish on the basic materials sector could consider

ProShares Short Basic Materials Fd




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