5 Stocks Pushing The Basic Materials Sector Higher

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

All three major indices are trading up today with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) trading up 48 points (0.4%) at 12,859 as of Friday, Nov. 9, 2012, 11:50 AM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,662 issues advancing vs. 1,212 declining with 143 unchanged.

The Basic Materials sector currently sits up 0.2% versus the S&P 500, which is up 0.6%. Top gainers within the sector include Pioneer Natural Resources Company ( PXD), up 3.3%, Talisman Energy ( TLM), up 3.0%, Nexen ( NXY), up 2.8%, ArcelorMittal ( MT), up 2.4% and Gerdau ( GGB), up 1.6%. On the negative front, top decliners within the sector include Enerplus ( ERF), down 12.5%, SandRidge Energy ( SD), down 7.2%, Enterprise Products Partners ( EPD), down 1.9%, Hess ( HES), down 1.5% and Marathon Petroleum ( MPC), down 1.6%.

TheStreet Ratings group would like to highlight 5 stocks pushing the sector higher today:

5. Energy Transfer Partners L.P ( ETP) is one of the companies pushing the Basic Materials sector higher today. As of noon trading, Energy Transfer Partners L.P is up $1.05 (2.5%) to $42.50 on average volume Thus far, 1.5 million shares of Energy Transfer Partners L.P exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2.1 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $41.30-$42.54 after having opened the day at $41.53 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $41.45.

Energy Transfer Partners, L.P. engages in the natural gas midstream, and intrastate transportation and storage businesses in the United States. Energy Transfer Partners L.P has a market cap of $10.0 billion and is part of the energy industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 8.3, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 10.8% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 4 analysts that rate Energy Transfer Partners L.P a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 8 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Energy Transfer Partners L.P as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its attractive valuation levels, expanding profit margins and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income. Get the full Energy Transfer Partners L.P Ratings Report now.

4. As of noon trading, Marathon Oil ( MRO) is up $0.44 (1.5%) to $30.30 on average volume Thus far, 2.9 million shares of Marathon Oil exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 6.8 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $29.71-$30.40 after having opened the day at $29.88 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $29.86.

Marathon Oil Corporation operates as an energy company worldwide. The company operates in three segments: Exploration and Production, Oil Sands Mining, and Integrated Gas. Marathon Oil has a market cap of $21.1 billion and is part of the energy industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 11.7, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 2.4% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 9 analysts that rate Marathon Oil a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 7 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Marathon Oil as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, solid stock price performance and attractive valuation levels. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including deteriorating net income and weak operating cash flow. Get the full Marathon Oil Ratings Report now.

3. As of noon trading, Petroleo Brasileiro SA Petrobras ( PBR) is up $0.36 (1.7%) to $21.11 on light volume Thus far, 4.2 million shares of Petroleo Brasileiro SA Petrobras exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 11.3 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $20.72-$21.13 after having opened the day at $20.79 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $20.75.

Petroleo Brasileiro S.A. primarily engages in oil and natural gas exploration and production, refining, trade, and transportation businesses. Petroleo Brasileiro SA Petrobras has a market cap of $139.4 billion and is part of the energy industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 6.9, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 13.2% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 4 analysts that rate Petroleo Brasileiro SA Petrobras a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 6 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Petroleo Brasileiro SA Petrobras as a hold. Among the primary strengths of the company is its solid financial position based on a variety of debt and liquidity measures that we have evaluated. At the same time, however, we also find weaknesses including a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself, deteriorating net income and disappointing return on equity. Get the full Petroleo Brasileiro SA Petrobras Ratings Report now.

2. As of noon trading, E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Company ( DD) is up $0.41 (0.9%) to $43.67 on average volume Thus far, 2.1 million shares of E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Company exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 5.5 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $43.02-$43.75 after having opened the day at $43.17 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $43.26.

E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company operates as a science and technology based company worldwide. Its Agriculture segment provides hybrid corn and soybean seeds, and grains under the Pioneer brand name; and herbicides, fungicides, and insecticides. E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Company has a market cap of $40.9 billion and is part of the chemicals industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 13.4, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 4.3% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 7 analysts that rate E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Company a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 9 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Company as a buy. Among the primary strengths of the company is its respectable return on equity which we feel is likely to continue. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income. Get the full E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Company Ratings Report now.

1. As of noon trading, Cliffs Natural Resources ( CLF) is up $2.00 (5.7%) to $37.26 on average volume Thus far, 4.8 million shares of Cliffs Natural Resources exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 8.1 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $34.79-$37.28 after having opened the day at $35.06 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $35.26.

Cliffs Natural Resources Inc., a mining and natural resources company, engages in the production of iron ore pellets, fines and lump ore, and metallurgical coal. Cliffs Natural Resources has a market cap of $5.2 billion and is part of the metals & mining industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 5.7, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 41.6% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 4 analysts that rate Cliffs Natural Resources a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 12 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Cliffs Natural Resources as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its attractive valuation levels and notable return on equity. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including deteriorating net income, poor profit margins and weak operating cash flow. Get the full Cliffs Natural Resources 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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