Cenovus Energy ( CVE) pushed the Basic Materials sector higher today making it today's featured basic materials winner. The sector as a whole closed the day down 0.4%. By the end of trading, Cenovus Energy rose 75 cents (2.3%) to $33.55 on average volume. Throughout the day, 1.2 million shares of Cenovus Energy exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1.6 million shares. The stock ranged in a price between $32.28-$33.73 after having opened the day at $32.70 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $32.80. Other companies within the Basic Materials sector that increased today were: Royale Energy ( ROYL), up 19.9%, Great Basin Gold ( GBG), up 17.8%, WSP Holdings ( WH), up 16%, and Pyramid Oil Company ( PDO), up 11.8%.

Cenovus Energy Inc. engages in the development, production, and marketing of bitumen, crude oil, natural gas, and natural gas liquids (NGLs) in Canada with refining operations in the United States. Cenovus Energy has a market cap of $24.83 billion and is part of the energy industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 21.8, above the average energy industry P/E ratio of 18.7 and above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 1.3% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are six analysts that rate Cenovus Energy a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and six rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Cenovus Energy as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its compelling growth in net income, robust revenue growth and good cash flow from operations. However, as a counter to these strengths, we find that the company's profit margins have been poor overall.

On the negative front, Jaguar Mining ( JAG), down 9.5%, Lightbridge ( LTBR), down 9.4%, Nanophase Technologies Corporation ( NANX), down 8.3%, and Approach Resources ( AREX), down 7.8%, were all losers within the basic materials sector with EOG Resources ( EOG) 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).