Halliburton Company

(

HAL

) pushed the Basic Materials sector higher today making it today's featured basic materials winner. The sector as a whole closed the day up 1.2%. By the end of trading, Halliburton Company rose 54 cents (1.8%) to $31.32 on average volume. Throughout the day, 15 million shares of Halliburton Company exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 14.7 million shares. The stock ranged in a price between $30.07-$31.36 after having opened the day at $30.37 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $30.78. Other companies within the Basic Materials sector that increased today were:

Recon Technology

(

RCON

), up 39.5%,

Patriot Coal Corporation

(

PCX

), up 22%,

Seabridge Gold

(

SA

), up 17.4%, and

HyperDynamics Corporation

(

HDY

), up 17.4%.

Halliburton Company provides various products and services to the energy industry for exploring, developing, and producing oil and natural gas worldwide. It operates in two segments, Completion and Production, and Drilling and Evaluation. Halliburton Company has a market cap of $28.77 billion and is part of the

energy

industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 9.2, below the average energy industry P/E ratio of 9.7 and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 9.7% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 22 analysts that rate Halliburton Company a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and four rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Halliburton Company as a

buy

. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, notable return on equity, attractive valuation levels and good cash flow from operations. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins.

On the negative front,

GeoPetro Resources Company

(

GPR

), down 15.3%,

Tri-Valley Corporation

(

TIV

), down 8.9%,

China Natural Resources

(

CHNR

), down 8.3%, and

Augusta Resource Corporation

(

AZC

), down 8.3%, were all losers within the basic materials sector with

Royal Dutch Shell PLC ADR

(

RDS.B

) 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

).

null