Royal Dutch Shell PLC ADR Class B

(

RDS.B

) pushed the Basic Materials sector lower today making it today's featured Basic Materials laggard. The sector as a whole closed the day up 1.2%. By the end of trading, Royal Dutch Shell PLC ADR Class B fell 66 cents (-0.9%) to $69.74 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 1.2 million shares of Royal Dutch Shell PLC ADR Class B exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 750,200 shares. The stock ranged in price between $69.13-$70.32 after having opened the day at $69.18 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $70.40. Other company's within the Basic Materials sector that declined today were:

Ferro

(

FOE

), down 25.9%,

Novagold Resources

(

NG

), down 25.3%,

BioFuel Energy Corporation

(

BIOF

), down 15.9%, and

Carbo Ceramics

(

CRR

), down 15.1%.

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Royal Dutch Shell plc operates as an oil and gas company worldwide. The company explores for and extracts crude oil and natural gas. Royal Dutch Shell PLC ADR Class B has a market cap of $221.94 billion and is part of the

energy

industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 8.8, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 7.4% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Royal Dutch Shell PLC ADR Class B as a

buy

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

On the positive front,

Pioneer Drilling Company

(

PDC

), up 16.9%,

Nevsun Resources

(

NSU

), up 15%,

China Natural Resources

(

CHNR

), up 12.7%, and

InterOil Corporation

(

IOC

), up 12.3%, were all gainers within the basic materials sector with

National Oilwell Varco

(

NOV

) 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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