Encana Corp (ECA): Today's Featured Basic Materials Winner

Encana ( ECA) pushed the Basic Materials sector higher today making it today's featured basic materials winner. The sector as a whole closed the day down 0.5%. By the end of trading, Encana rose 45 cents (2%) to $22.60 on light volume. Throughout the day, 4.4 million shares of Encana exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 7.5 million shares. The stock ranged in a price between $22.30-$22.70 after having opened the day at $22.30 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $22.15. Other companies within the Basic Materials sector that increased today were: ATP Oil & Gas ( ATPG), up 13.9%, Cobalt International Energy ( CIE), up 13.7%, BPZ Resources ( BPZ), up 11.2%, and Prospect Global Resources ( PGRX), up 11.1%.

Encana Corporation and its subsidiaries engage in the exploration for, development, production, and marketing of natural gas, oil, and natural gas liquids. Encana has a market cap of $16.63 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are up 22.9% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are two analysts that rate Encana a buy, one analyst rates it a sell, and 13 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Encana as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, expanding profit margins and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself, feeble growth in the company's earnings per share and deteriorating net income.

On the negative front, Lone Pine Resources ( LPR), down 37.1%, Gold Standard Ventures ( GSV), down 26.8%, Royale Energy ( ROYL), down 23.8%, and Dejour Energy ( DEJ), down 18%, were all laggards within the basic materials sector with Petroleo Brasileiro SA Petrobras ( PBR.A) being today's basic materials sector laggard.

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).