The basic materials sector closed the day up 2.9%. Cano Petroleum Inc ( CFW), FieldPoint Petroleum Corporation ( FPP), Pacific Ethanol Inc ( PEIXD), and Pacific Ethanol Inc ( PEIX) were all decliners today within the basic materials sector with Great Panther Silver ( GPL) being today's featured basic materials loser. Great Panther Silver fell 10 cents (-3.9%) to $2.48 on average volume. Throughout the day, 1.8 million shares of Great Panther Silver exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1.8 million shares.

Great Panther Silver Limited, together with its subsidiaries, engages in the acquisition, exploration, and development of precious and base metal properties in Mexico. The company primarily produces silver. It also produces gold, lead, and zinc properties. Great Panther Silver has a market cap of $355.7 million and is part of the metals & mining industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 44.2, above the average metals & mining industry P/E ratio of 31.9 and above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are unchanged year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Great Panther as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its impressive record of earnings per share growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and expanding profit margins. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including weak operating cash flow and disappointing return on equity.

On the positive front, USEC Inc ( USU), China Shen Zhou Mining & Resources Inc ( SHZ), Solazyme Inc ( SZYM), and ATP Oil & Gas ( ATPG) were all gainers within the basic materials sector with Chevron ( CVX) 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).