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

Two out of the three major indices are trading up today with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) trading down 9 points (-0.1%) at 12,786 as of Tuesday, Nov. 20, 2012, 11:49 AM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,471 issues advancing vs. 1,424 declining with 128 unchanged.

The Basic Materials sector currently sits down 0.2% versus the S&P 500, which is up 0.0%. Top gainers within the sector include Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold ( FCX), up 1.2%, Valero Energy Corporation ( VLO), up 1.2%, Noble Energy ( NBL), up 1.3%, Tenaris ( TS), up 1.0% and Southern Copper Corporation ( SCCO), up 0.7%. On the negative front, top decliners within the sector include Cliffs Natural Resources ( CLF), down 8.3%, Cenovus Energy ( CVE), down 1.8%, PetroChina ( PTR), down 1.6%, EOG Resources ( EOG), down 1.6% and Devon Energy ( DVN), down 1.2%.

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

5. Mosaic ( MOS) is one of the companies pushing the Basic Materials sector higher today. As of noon trading, Mosaic is up $0.97 (1.9%) to $52.17 on average volume Thus far, 1.4 million shares of Mosaic exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3.6 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $50.64-$52.22 after having opened the day at $51.02 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $51.20.

The Mosaic Company produces and markets concentrated phosphate and potash crop nutrients for the agriculture industry worldwide. Mosaic has a market cap of $14.7 billion and is part of the chemicals 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 5.4% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are 12 analysts that rate Mosaic a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 7 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Mosaic 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 shows weak operating cash flow. Get the full Mosaic Ratings Report now.

4. As of noon trading, Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan ( POT) is up $0.28 (0.7%) to $38.28 on light volume Thus far, 1.4 million shares of Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 5.1 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $37.81-$38.46 after having opened the day at $38.10 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $38.00.

Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan Inc., together with its subsidiaries, produces and sells fertilizers and related industrial and feed products primarily in the United States and Canada. The company mines and produces potash, which is used as fertilizer. Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan has a market cap of $32.1 billion and is part of the chemicals industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 14.0, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 9.7% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are 12 analysts that rate Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 11 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan 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 shows weak operating cash flow. Get the full Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan Ratings Report now.

3. As of noon trading, CF Industries Holdings ( CF) is up $2.91 (1.4%) to $206.56 on average volume Thus far, 418,257 shares of CF Industries Holdings exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 955,300 shares. The stock has ranged in price between $201.79-$207.20 after having opened the day at $202.80 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $203.65.

CF Industries Holdings, Inc., through its subsidiary, CF Industries, Inc., manufactures and distributes nitrogen and phosphate fertilizer products, serving agricultural and industrial customers worldwide. It operates in two segments, Nitrogen and Phosphate. CF Industries Holdings has a market cap of $12.3 billion and is part of the chemicals industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 7.0, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 34.9% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are 11 analysts that rate CF Industries Holdings a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 5 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates CF Industries Holdings as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow. Get the full CF Industries Holdings Ratings Report now.

2. As of noon trading, Monsanto Company ( MON) is up $0.69 (0.8%) to $89.02 on average volume Thus far, 1.2 million shares of Monsanto Company exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2.8 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $88.06-$89.10 after having opened the day at $88.08 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $88.33.

Monsanto Company, together with its subsidiaries, provides agricultural products for farmers. It operates in two segments, Seeds and Genomics, and Agricultural Productivity. Monsanto Company has a market cap of $45.6 billion and is part of the chemicals industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 22.5, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 26.1% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are 12 analysts that rate Monsanto Company a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 5 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Monsanto Company 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, good cash flow from operations, notable return on equity, expanding profit margins 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 Monsanto Company Ratings Report now.

1. As of noon trading, Dow Chemical ( DOW) is up $0.15 (0.5%) to $28.93 on light volume Thus far, 2.2 million shares of Dow Chemical exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 10.0 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $28.58-$29.00 after having opened the day at $28.80 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $28.78.

The Dow Chemical Company manufactures and supplies chemical products used as raw materials in the manufacture of customer products and services worldwide. Dow Chemical has a market cap of $33.3 billion and is part of the conglomerates industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 21.5, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 0.1% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are 2 analysts that rate Dow Chemical a buy, 3 analysts rate it a sell, and 13 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Dow Chemical as a buy. 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. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income. Get the full Dow Chemical 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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