The

basic materials

sector closed the day down 2.5%.

Lucas Energy Inc

(

LEI

),

WSP Holdings

(

WH

),

Uranium Resources Inc

(

URRE

), and

CF Industries Holdings Inc

(

CF

) were all decliners today within the basic materials sector with

Williams Cos Inc

(

WMB

) being today's featured basic materials loser. Williams Cos Inc fell 67 cents (-2.7%) to $24.37 on light volume. Throughout the day, 6.8 million shares of Williams Cos Inc exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 10 million shares.

The Williams Companies, Inc., through its subsidiaries, engages in finding, producing, gathering, processing, and transporting natural gas primarily in the United States. Williams Cos Inc has a market cap of $14.8 billion and is part of the

energy

industry. Shares are up 1.6% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

TheStreet Ratings rates The Williams Cos as a

hold

. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, increase in net income and expanding profit margins. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including generally poor debt management and disappointing return on equity.

On the positive front,

Synthesis Energy Sys Inc

(

SYMX

),

GeoMet Inc

(

GMET

),

Lake Shore Gold

(

LSG

), and

Nanophase Technologies Corporation

(

NANX

) were all gainers within the basic materials sector with

Newmont Mining Corporation

(

NEM

) being today's featured basic materials sector winner.

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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