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) pushed the Basic Materials sector lower today making it today's featured Basic Materials laggard. The sector as a whole closed the day down 0.4%. By the end of trading, Chevron fell $4.83 (-4.2%) to $111.62 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 14,062,153 shares of Chevron exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 5,727,900 shares. The stock ranged in price between $111.11-$113.90 after having opened the day at $113.90 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $116.45. Other companies within the Basic Materials sector that declined today were:

Zion Oil & Gas



), down 17.0%,

Midstates Petroleum



), down 11.9%,

North American Palladium



), down 11.1% and

Newmont Mining Corporation



), down 10.4%.

Chevron Corporation, through its subsidiaries, engages in petroleum, chemicals, mining, power generation, and energy operations worldwide. The company operates in two segments, Upstream and Downstream. Chevron has a market cap of $223.1 billion and is part of the energy industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 9.5, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 6.8% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 8 analysts that rate Chevron a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 4 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates


as a


. 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, attractive valuation levels, good cash flow from operations and increase in stock price during the past year. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat weak growth in earnings per share.

On the positive front,




), up 32.8%,

Lilis Energy



), up 29.8%,

China Gengsheng Minerals



), up 20.0% and

Mines Management



), up 12.3% , were all gainers within the basic materials sector with

National Oilwell Varco



) 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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