United States Steel Corporation (X): Today's Featured Basic Materials Loser

United States Steel Corporation ( X) pushed the Basic Materials sector lower today making it today's featured Basic Materials loser. The sector as a whole closed the day up 0.5%. By the end of trading, United States Steel Corporation fell 33 cents (-1.7%) to $19.44 on light volume. Throughout the day, 7.1 million shares of United States Steel Corporation exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 10.2 million shares. The stock ranged in price between $19.25-$19.96 after having opened the day at $19.96 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $19.77. Other company's within the Basic Materials sector that declined today were: AuRico Gold ( AUQ), down 12.2%, HyperDynamics Corporation ( HDY), down 10.2%, Whiting USA Trust I ( WHX), down 9.2%, and Voyager Oil & Gas ( VOG), down 8.3%.

United States Steel Corporation engages in the production and sale of steel mill products in North America and Europe. The company operates in three segments: Flat-rolled Products (Flat-rolled), U. S. Steel Europe (USSE), and Tubular Products (Tubular). United States Steel Corporation has a market cap of $2.91 billion and is part of the metals & mining industry. Shares are down 23.5% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are five analysts that rate United States Steel Corporation a buy, two analysts rate it a sell, and seven rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates United States Steel Corporation as a sell. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its unimpressive growth in net income, generally weak debt management, poor profit margins and generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself.

On the positive front, McMoRan Exploration ( MMR), up 12.4%, Andatee China Marine Fuel Services Corporat ( AMCF), up 12.3%, Augusta Resource Corporation ( AZC), up 11.4%, and Forest Oil ( FST), up 10.5%, were all gainers within the basic materials sector with Occidental Petroleum Corporation ( OXY) 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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