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 down today with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) trading down 20 points (-0.2%) at 12,795 as of Monday, Nov. 12, 2012, 11:49 AM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,283 issues advancing vs. 1,555 declining with 129 unchanged.

The Basic Materials sector currently sits up 0.1% versus the S&P 500, which is down 0.1%. Top gainers within the sector include Emerald Oil ( EOX), up 298.4%, Titanium Metals Corporation ( TIE), up 42.3%, Kronos Worldwide ( KRO), up 10.6%, Valhi Incorporated ( VHI), up 4.1% and Nexen ( NXY), up 2.0%. On the negative front, top decliners within the sector include SandRidge Energy ( SD), down 6.7%, NuStar Energy L.P ( NS), down 6.2%, Plains All American Pipeline ( PAA), down 3.5%, Enterprise Products Partners ( EPD), down 2.8% and Randgold Resources ( GOLD), down 1.7%.

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

5. PetroChina ( PTR) is one of the companies pushing the Basic Materials sector higher today. As of noon trading, PetroChina is up $0.96 (0.7%) to $133.41 on light volume Thus far, 21,522 shares of PetroChina exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 135,800 shares. The stock has ranged in price between $133.08-$133.86 after having opened the day at $133.19 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $132.45.

PetroChina Company Limited produces and sells oil and gas in the People's Republic of China. The company operates in four segments: Exploration and Production, Refining and Chemicals, Marketing, and Natural Gas and Pipeline. PetroChina has a market cap of $242.2 billion and is part of the energy industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 1.7, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 6.4% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are 3 analysts that rate PetroChina a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 1 rates it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates PetroChina as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth and attractive valuation levels. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat weak growth in earnings per share. Get the full PetroChina Ratings Report now.

4. As of noon trading, Energy Transfer Equity ( ETE) is up $0.42 (0.9%) to $45.35 on average volume Thus far, 329,861 shares of Energy Transfer Equity exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 644,300 shares. The stock has ranged in price between $45.01-$45.68 after having opened the day at $45.01 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $44.93.

Energy Transfer Equity, L.P. owns and operates a diversified portfolio of energy assets in the natural gas, natural gas liquids (NGL), and propane sectors in the United States. Energy Transfer Equity has a market cap of $12.6 billion and is part of the energy industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 23.7, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 10.7% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are 7 analysts that rate Energy Transfer Equity a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and none rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Energy Transfer Equity as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth and solid stock price performance. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income. Get the full Energy Transfer Equity Ratings Report now.

3. As of noon trading, Suncor Energy ( SU) is up $0.17 (0.5%) to $33.36 on light volume Thus far, 753,724 shares of Suncor Energy exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3.8 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $33.21-$33.46 after having opened the day at $33.33 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $33.19.

Suncor Energy Inc., together with its subsidiaries, operates as an integrated energy company. Suncor Energy has a market cap of $50.9 billion and is part of the energy industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 10.4, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 15.4% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are 11 analysts that rate Suncor Energy a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 1 rates it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Suncor Energy as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its impressive record of earnings per share growth, increase in net income, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, attractive valuation levels and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins. Get the full Suncor Energy Ratings Report now.

2. As of noon trading, Marathon Petroleum ( MPC) is up $1.16 (2.2%) to $54.28 on light volume Thus far, 819,466 shares of Marathon Petroleum exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2.9 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $53.50-$54.45 after having opened the day at $53.64 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $53.12.

Marathon Petroleum Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, engages in refining, transporting, and marketing petroleum products primarily in the United States. Marathon Petroleum has a market cap of $18.4 billion and is part of the energy industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 7.3, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 63.1% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are 9 analysts that rate Marathon Petroleum a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and none rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Marathon Petroleum as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, growth in earnings per share and increase in net income. However, as a counter to these strengths, we find that the company's profit margins have been poor overall. Get the full Marathon Petroleum Ratings Report now.

1. As of noon trading, National Oilwell Varco ( NOV) is up $0.72 (1.0%) to $69.68 on average volume Thus far, 1.2 million shares of National Oilwell Varco exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3.1 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $68.58-$69.89 after having opened the day at $69.14 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $68.97.

National Oilwell Varco, Inc. designs, constructs, manufactures, and sells systems, components, and products for oil and gas drilling and production, as well as provides oilfield services and supplies, and supply chain integration services to the upstream oil and gas industry worldwide. National Oilwell Varco has a market cap of $29.7 billion and is part of the energy industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 12.3, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 2.2% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are 20 analysts that rate National Oilwell Varco a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 1 rates it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates National Oilwell Varco 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, growth in earnings per share, compelling growth in net income and attractive valuation levels. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins. Get the full National Oilwell Varco 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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