Imperial Oil ( IMO) pushed the Basic Materials sector lower today making it today's featured Basic Materials loser. The sector as a whole closed the day up 0.4%. By the end of trading, Imperial Oil fell 66 cents (-1.5%) to $42.85 on light volume. Throughout the day, 261,809 shares of Imperial Oil exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 370,600 shares. The stock ranged in price between $42.44-$43.49 after having opened the day at $43.15 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $43.51. Other company's within the Basic Materials sector that declined today were: Cano Petroleum ( CFW), down 16.5%, Qiao Xing Universal Resources ( XING), down 14.6%, Mechel OAO ( MTL), down 11%, and Cubic Energy ( QBC), down 8.3%.

Imperial Oil Limited engages in the exploration, production, and sale of crude oil and natural gas in Canada. The company operates through three segments: Upstream, Downstream, and Chemical. Imperial Oil has a market cap of $36.07 billion and is part of the energy industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 12.1, above the average energy industry P/E ratio of 11.2 and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 7.4% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are no analysts that rate Imperial Oil a buy, one analyst rates it a sell, and three rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Imperial Oil as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, solid stock price performance, attractive valuation levels, good cash flow from operations and compelling growth in net income. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins.

On the positive front, Saratoga Resources ( SARA), up 25.5%, Comstock Resources ( CRK), up 14.4%, Solitario Exploration & Royalty ( XPL), up 9.6%, and New Concept Energy ( GBR), up 9.5%, were all gainers within the basic materials sector with Monsanto Company ( MON) 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).