The basic materials sector closed the day up 4%. China Precision Steel Inc ( CPSL), WSP Holdings ( WH), Magnum Hunter Resources ( MHR), and Crosshair Exploration & Mining ( CXZ) were all winners today within the basic materials sector with Chevron ( CVX) being today's featured basic materials winner. Chevron rose $3.10 (3.4%) to $94.58 on average volume. Throughout the day, 11.6 million shares of Chevron exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 11.1 million shares.

Chevron Corporation, through its subsidiaries, engages in petroleum, chemicals, mining, power generation, and energy operations worldwide. It operates in two segments, Upstream and Downstream. Chevron has a market cap of $180 billion and is part of the energy industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 7.8, equal to the average energy industry P/E ratio and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 1.5% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Chevron as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, impressive record of earnings per share growth, robust revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and attractive valuation levels. Although no company is perfect, currently we do not see any significant weaknesses which are likely to detract from the generally positive outlook.

On the negative front, Cano Petroleum Inc ( CFW), Miller Energy Resources Inc ( MILL), Lufkin Industries Inc ( LUFK), and Landec Corporation ( LNDC) were all losers within the basic materials sector with Allied Nevada Gold ( ANV) 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 ( XLB) while those bearish on the basic materials sector could consider ProShares Short Basic Materials Fd ( SBM).
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