Occidental Petroleum Corporation

(

OXY

) pushed the Basic Materials sector lower today making it today's featured Basic Materials laggard. The sector as a whole closed the day down 0.6%. By the end of trading, Occidental Petroleum Corporation fell $2.23 (-2.5%) to $87 on light volume. Throughout the day, 2.8 million shares of Occidental Petroleum Corporation exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 5.1 million shares. The stock ranged in price between $86.78-$89.55 after having opened the day at $89.13 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $89.23. Other company's within the Basic Materials sector that declined today were:

Midway Gold

(

MDW

), down 11.5%,

WSP Holdings

(

WH

), down 11%,

Mexco Energy Corporation

(

MXC

), down 9.2%, and

Comstock Resources

(

CRK

), down 9.2%.

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Occidental Petroleum Corporation engages in the exploration and production of oil and gas properties in the United States and internationally. The company operates in three segments: Oil and Gas; Chemical; and Midstream, Marketing, and Other. Occidental Petroleum Corporation has a market cap of $71.88 billion and is part of the

energy

industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 11.8, above the average energy industry P/E ratio of 10.6 and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 4.8% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are 12 analysts that rate Occidental Petroleum Corporation a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and five rate it a hold.

On the positive front,

Uranium Resources

(

URRE

), up 50.9%,

James River Coal Company

(

JRCC

), up 16.8%,

Recovery Energy

(

RECV

), up 14.3%, and

GeoMet

(

GMET

), up 12.9%, were all gainers within the basic materials sector with

Chesapeake Energy

(

CHK

) 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

(

XLB

) while those bearish on the basic materials sector could consider

ProShares Short Basic Materials Fd

(

SBM

).

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