basic materials

sector closed the day up 1.4%.

BioFuel Energy Corporation




Sinocoking Coal and Coke Chemicals Inc




Mines Management Inc



), and

Stillwater Mining Company



) were all winners today within the basic materials sector with

Occidental Petroleum Corporation



) being today's featured basic materials winner. Occidental Petroleum Corporation rose $2.11 (2.2%) to $97.77 on average volume. Throughout the day, 5.7 million shares of Occidental Petroleum Corporation exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 6.3 million shares.

Occidental Petroleum Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, operates as an oil and gas exploration and production company primarily in the United States. The company operates in three segments: Oil and Gas; Chemical; and Midstream, Marketing, and Other. Occidental Petroleum Corporation has a market cap of $69.2 billion and is part of the


industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 12.6, above the average energy industry P/E ratio of 12 and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 2.5% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Occidental as a


. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income, robust revenue growth, expanding profit margins and good cash flow from operations. Although the company may harbor some minor weaknesses, we feel they are unlikely to have a significant impact on results.

On the negative front,

Sinopec Shanghai Petrochemical Company Limi




China Gerui Advanced Materials Group




Clayton Williams Energy Inc



), and

GeoGlobal Resources Inc



) were all losers within the basic materials sector with

Eni SpA



) being today's basic materials sector Loser 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



) while those bearish on the basic materials sector could consider

ProShares Short Basic Materials Fd