4 Stocks Pushing The Basic Materials Sector Lower

Editor's Note: TheStreet ratings do not represent the views of TheStreet's staff or its contributors. Ratings are established by computer based on metrics for performance (which includes growth, stock performance, efficiency and valuation) and risk (volatility and solvency). Companies with poor cash flow or high debt levels tend to earn lower ratings in our model

Two out of the three major indices are trading lower today with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) trading down 10 points (-0.1%) at 13,082 as of Monday, Nov. 5, 2012, 1:34 PM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,351 issues advancing vs. 1,574 declining with 129 unchanged.

The Basic Materials sector currently sits up 0.4% versus the S&P 500, which is down 0.1%. On the negative front, top decliners within the sector include Chesapeake Energy ( CHK), down 2.1%, Total ( TOT), down 1.4%, Suncor Energy ( SU), down 1.3%, BP ( BP), down 0.9% and Occidental Petroleum Corporation ( OXY), down 0.5%. Top gainers within the sector include Turquoise Hill Resources ( TRQ), up 10.3%, Transocean ( RIG), up 4.6%, Agnico-Eagle Mines ( AEM), up 1.5%, Continental Resources ( CLR), up 1.2% and Gerdau ( GGB), up 1.6%.

TheStreet Ratings group would like to highlight 4 stocks pushing the sector lower today:

4. Penn West Petroleum ( PWE) is one of the companies pushing the Basic Materials sector lower today. As of noon trading, Penn West Petroleum is down $0.52 (-4.2%) to $11.64 on heavy volume Thus far, 3.0 million shares of Penn West Petroleum exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1.6 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $11.52-$12.10 after having opened the day at $12.10 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $12.15.

Penn West Petroleum Ltd., an exploration and production company, engages in acquiring, exploring, developing, exploiting, and holding interests in petroleum and natural gas properties and related assets in Western Canada. Penn West Petroleum has a market cap of $6.2 billion and is part of the energy industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 4.9, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 34.0% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are 2 analysts that rate Penn West Petroleum a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 3 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Penn West Petroleum as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, expanding profit margins and good cash flow from operations. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself, deteriorating net income and disappointing return on equity. Get the full Penn West Petroleum Ratings Report now.

3. As of noon trading, Eni SpA ( E) is down $0.75 (-1.6%) to $44.89 on average volume Thus far, 580,322 shares of Eni SpA exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 525,600 shares. The stock has ranged in price between $44.78-$45.14 after having opened the day at $45.00 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $45.64.

Eni SpA, an integrated energy company, engages in the exploration, production, transportation, transformation, and marketing of oil and natural gas. Eni SpA has a market cap of $83.6 billion and is part of the energy industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 4.7, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 10.6% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are 4 analysts that rate Eni SpA a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 3 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Eni SpA as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its reasonable valuation levels, increase in stock price during the past year and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income. Get the full Eni SpA Ratings Report now.

2. As of noon trading, Praxair ( PX) is down $1.27 (-1.2%) to $108.43 on average volume Thus far, 932,556 shares of Praxair exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1.0 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $107.79-$109.40 after having opened the day at $109.37 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $109.70.

Praxair, Inc. engages in the production, distribution, and sale atmospheric and process gases, as well as surface coatings in North America, Europe, South America, and Asia. Praxair has a market cap of $32.2 billion and is part of the chemicals industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 19.3, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 2.6% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are 10 analysts that rate Praxair a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 5 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Praxair as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its increase in net income, notable return on equity, expanding profit margins, growth in earnings per share and increase in stock price during the past year. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had generally high debt management risk by most measures that we evaluated. Get the full Praxair Ratings Report now.

1. As of noon trading, Silver Wheaton Corporation ( SLW) is down $0.58 (-1.5%) to $38.91 on average volume Thus far, 3.6 million shares of Silver Wheaton Corporation exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 4.6 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $38.40-$39.32 after having opened the day at $38.50 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $39.49.

Silver Wheaton Corp., a mining company, together with its subsidiaries, operates as a silver streaming company worldwide. Silver Wheaton Corporation has a market cap of $14.6 billion and is part of the metals & mining industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 25.7, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 42.1% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are 10 analysts that rate Silver Wheaton Corporation a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and none rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Silver Wheaton Corporation as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, notable return on equity, expanding profit margins and good cash flow from operations. Although the company may harbor some minor weaknesses, we feel they are unlikely to have a significant impact on results. Get the full Silver Wheaton Corporation Ratings Report now.

If you are interested in one of these 5 stocks, 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).

A reminder about TheStreet Ratings group: TheStreet ratings do not represent the views of TheStreet's staff or its contributors. Ratings are established by computer based on metrics for performance (which includes growth, stock performance, efficiency and valuation) and risk (volatility and solvency). Companies with poor cash flow or high debt levels tend to earn lower ratings in our model.

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