The

basic materials

sector closed the day down 4.3%.

Gushan Environmental Energy

(

GU

),

Lake Shore Gold

(

LSG

),

US Gold Corporation

(

UXG

), and

Timberline Resources Corporation

(

TLR

) were all decliners today within the basic materials sector with

Monsanto Company

(

MON

) being today's featured basic materials loser. Monsanto Company fell $3.11 (-4.7%) to $62.90 on average volume. Throughout the day, 3.9 million shares of Monsanto Company exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 5.1 million shares.

Monsanto Company, together with its subsidiaries, provides agricultural products for farmers in the United States and internationally. It operates in two segments, Seeds and Genomics, and Agricultural Productivity. Monsanto Company has a market cap of $34.7 billion and is part of the

chemicals

industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 22.6, equal to the average chemicals industry P/E ratio and above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 6.7% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Monsanto as a

hold

. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its compelling growth in net income, revenue growth and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. However, as a counter to these strengths, we find that the company's return on equity has been disappointing.

On the positive front,

TheStreet Recommends

Altair Nanotechnologies Inc

(

ALTI

),

China Green Agriculture Inc

(

CGA

),

Synalloy Corporation

(

SYNL

), and

China Natural Resources Inc

(

CHNR

) were all gainers within the basic materials sector with

TransMontaigne Partners L.P

(

TLP

) being today's basic materials sector Leader Spotlight stock.

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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