Canadian Natural Resources ( CNQ) pushed the Basic Materials sector higher today making it today's featured basic materials winner. The sector as a whole closed the day down 0.6%. By the end of trading, Canadian Natural Resources rose $1.11 (3%) to $37.80 on average volume. Throughout the day, 5.5 million shares of Canadian Natural Resources exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 4.2 million shares. The stock ranged in a price between $36.55-$38.72 after having opened the day at $36.71 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $36.69. Other companies within the Basic Materials sector that increased today were: Jaguar Mining Inc ( JAG), up 44.7%, Mexco Energy Corporation ( MXC), up 26.8%, Revett Minerals Inc ( RVM), up 25.9%, and Revett Minerals Inc ( RVMID), up 25.9%.

Canadian Natural Resources Limited engages in the exploration, development, production, marketing, and sale of crude oil, natural gas liquids, and natural gas. The company's products include light and medium crude oil, primary heavy crude oil, natural gas, and natural gas liquids. Canadian Natural Resources has a market cap of $40.77 billion and is part of the energy industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 28.2, below the average energy industry P/E ratio of 33.6 and above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 17.2% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Canadian Natural as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its increase in net income, revenue growth and expanding profit margins. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself, disappointing return on equity and weak operating cash flow.

On the negative front, CVR Energy Inc ( CVI), down 16.3%, Sutor Technology Group ( SUTR), down 14.6%, Western Refining Inc ( WNR), down 13.5%, and Marathon Petroleum ( MPC), down 11.7%, were all losers within the basic materials sector with Royal Dutch Shell PLC ADR ( RDS.A) being today's basic materials sector loser.

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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