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 1%. By the end of trading, Encana fell 62 cents (-2.7%) to $22.36 on light volume. Throughout the day, 2.4 million shares of Encana exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of six million shares. The stock ranged in price between $22.22-$22.80 after having opened the day at $22.74 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $22.98. Other companies within the Basic Materials sector that declined today were:

BioFuel Energy Corporation



), down 16.7%,




), down 16.2%,




), down 12.6%, and

GeoPetro Resources Company



), down 11.1%.

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Encana Corporation and its subsidiaries engage in the exploration for, development, production, and marketing of natural gas, oil, and natural gas liquids. Encana has a market cap of $16.74 billion and is part of the


industry. Shares are up 22.7% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there is one analyst that rates Encana a buy, two analysts rate it a sell, and 13 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Encana as a


. The company's strongest point has been its a solid financial position based on a variety of debt and liquidity measures that we have looked at. At the same time, however, we also find weaknesses including feeble growth in the company's earnings per share, deteriorating net income and disappointing return on equity.

On the positive front,

BMB Munai


TheStreet Recommends


), up 23.6%,

Longwei Petroleum Investment Holding Limite



), up 21.5%,

Pure Bioscience



), up 17.2%, and

Clean Diesel Technologies



), up 13.7%, were all gainers within the basic materials sector with




) 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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