3 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

All three major indices are trading up today with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) trading up 52 points (0.4%) at 12,867 as of Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2012, 11:54 AM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,426 issues advancing vs. 1,481 declining with 120 unchanged.

The Basic Materials sector currently sits up 0.1% versus the S&P 500, which is up 0.5%. On the negative front, top decliners within the sector include Williams Partners ( WPZ), down 2.3%, PetroChina ( PTR), down 1.9%, Barrick Gold Corporation ( ABX), down 1.2%, Vale ( VALE), down 0.8% and Suncor Energy ( SU), down 1.1%. Top gainers within the sector include Emerald Oil ( EOX), up 264.9%, EOG Resources ( EOG), up 1.8%, Anadarko Petroleum ( APC), up 1.6%, Dow Chemical ( DOW), up 1.5% and Enterprise Products Partners ( EPD), up 1.4%.

TheStreet Ratings group would like to highlight 3 stocks pushing the sector lower today:

3. MarkWest Energy Partners ( MWE) is one of the companies pushing the Basic Materials sector lower today. As of noon trading, MarkWest Energy Partners is down $2.42 (-4.9%) to $47.27 on heavy volume Thus far, 1.3 million shares of MarkWest Energy Partners exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 547,100 shares. The stock has ranged in price between $46.92-$47.95 after having opened the day at $47.50 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $49.69.

Markwest Energy Partners, L.P., together with its subsidiaries, engages in the gathering, processing, and transportation of natural gas in the southwest, Gulf Coast, and northeast regions of the United States. MarkWest Energy Partners has a market cap of $6.0 billion and is part of the energy industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 104.4, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 7.1% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are 8 analysts that rate MarkWest Energy Partners a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and none rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates MarkWest Energy Partners as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income, expanding profit margins and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow. Get the full MarkWest Energy Partners Ratings Report now.

2. As of noon trading, Weatherford International ( WFT) is down $1.64 (-15.1%) to $9.24 on heavy volume Thus far, 29.0 million shares of Weatherford International exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 9.5 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $9.21-$9.94 after having opened the day at $9.85 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $10.88.

Weatherford International Ltd. provides equipment and services used in the drilling, evaluation, completion, production, and intervention of oil and natural gas wells worldwide. Weatherford International has a market cap of $8.2 billion and is part of the energy industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 23.9, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 26.6% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are 14 analysts that rate Weatherford International a buy, 3 analysts rate it a sell, and 6 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Weatherford International as a hold. Among the primary strengths of the company is its robust revenue growth -- not just in the most recent periods but in previous quarters as well. At the same time, however, we find that we feel that the company's cash flow from its operations has been weak overall. Get the full Weatherford International Ratings Report now.

1. As of noon trading, Occidental Petroleum Corporation ( OXY) is down $0.70 (-0.9%) to $75.83 on average volume Thus far, 2.0 million shares of Occidental Petroleum Corporation exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 4.5 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $75.48-$76.10 after having opened the day at $75.77 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $76.53.

Occidental Petroleum Corporation engages in the exploration and production of oil and gas properties in the United States and internationally. The company operates in three segments: Oil and Gas; Chemical; and Midstream, Marketing, and Other. Occidental Petroleum Corporation has a market cap of $62.1 billion and is part of the energy industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 10.5, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 18.2% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are 11 analysts that rate Occidental Petroleum Corporation a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 6 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Occidental Petroleum Corporation as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and expanding profit margins. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income. Get the full Occidental Petroleum 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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