Schlumberger ( SLB) pushed the Basic Materials sector lower today making it today's featured Basic Materials loser. The sector as a whole closed the day down 2.4%. By the end of trading, Schlumberger fell $1.84 (-2.8%) to $65.07 on light volume. Throughout the day, 7.9 million shares of Schlumberger exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 11.8 million shares. The stock ranged in price between $64.95-$67.42 after having opened the day at $67.25 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $66.91. Other company's within the Basic Materials sector that declined today were: Lizhan Environmental ( LZEN), down 18.3%, Blue Dolphin Energy Company ( BDCO), down 13.9%, Eldorado Gold ( EGO), down 13.6%, and Minco Gold Corporation ( MGH), down 12.3%.

Schlumberger Limited, together with its subsidiaries, supplies technology, integrated project management, and information solutions to the oil and gas exploration and production industries worldwide. Schlumberger has a market cap of $89.02 billion and is part of the energy industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 20.7, above the average energy industry P/E ratio of 19.6 and above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 19.9% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are 23 analysts that rate Schlumberger a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and four rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Schlumberger as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, good cash flow from operations and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself.

On the positive front, Anooraq Resources Corporation ( ANO), up 13.9%, Cano Petroleum ( CFW), up 11%, Synthesis Energy Sys ( SYMX), up 7.5%, and Ossen Innovation ( OSN), up 6.6%, were all gainers within the basic materials sector with El Paso Corporation ( EP) 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).
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