5 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

One 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%. 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%. 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%.

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

5. Apache Corporation ( APA) is one of the companies pushing the Basic Materials sector lower today. As of noon trading, Apache Corporation is down $0.64 (-0.8%) to $76.46 on average volume Thus far, 1.1 million shares of Apache Corporation exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2.8 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $76.38-$77.28 after having opened the day at $77.00 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $77.10.

Apache Corporation, an independent energy company, explores for, develops, and produces natural gas, crude oil, and natural gas liquids. Apache Corporation has a market cap of $29.5 billion and is part of the energy industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 12.0, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 14.9% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are 19 analysts that rate Apache Corporation a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 4 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Apache Corporation as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its reasonable valuation levels and expanding profit margins. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including deteriorating net income, disappointing return on equity and weak operating cash flow. Get the full Apache Corporation Ratings Report now.

4. As of noon trading, National Oilwell Varco ( NOV) is down $1.15 (-1.6%) to $72.14 on light volume Thus far, 1.1 million shares of National Oilwell Varco exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3.2 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $72.11-$72.89 after having opened the day at $72.50 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $73.29.

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 $30.1 billion and is part of the energy industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 12.5, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 3.9% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday. 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.

3. As of noon trading, Occidental Petroleum Corporation ( OXY) is down $0.76 (-1.0%) to $74.70 on light volume Thus far, 1.1 million shares of Occidental Petroleum Corporation exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 4.7 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $74.60-$75.36 after having opened the day at $75.07 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $75.46.

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 $59.8 billion and is part of the energy industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 10.1, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 21.2% 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.

2. As of noon trading, Schlumberger ( SLB) is down $0.74 (-1.1%) to $69.95 on light volume Thus far, 1.6 million shares of Schlumberger exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 6.0 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $69.92-$70.64 after having opened the day at $70.35 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $70.69.

Schlumberger Limited, together with its subsidiaries, supplies technology, integrated project management, and information solutions to the oil and gas exploration and production industries worldwide. Schlumberger has a market cap of $90.6 billion and is part of the energy industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 16.6, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 0.1% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are 24 analysts that rate Schlumberger a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 2 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Schlumberger as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its growth in earnings per share, increase in net income, revenue growth, 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 has had lackluster performance in the stock itself. Get the full Schlumberger Ratings Report now.

1. As of noon trading, Chevron ( CVX) is down $0.61 (-0.6%) to $103.74 on light volume Thus far, 1.8 million shares of Chevron exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 5.9 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $103.52-$104.12 after having opened the day at $104.01 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $104.35.

Chevron Corporation, through its subsidiaries, engages in petroleum, chemicals, mining, power generation, and energy operations worldwide. It operates in two segments, Upstream and Downstream. Chevron has a market cap of $200.4 billion and is part of the energy industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 8.4, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 3.8% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are 12 analysts that rate Chevron a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 3 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Chevron 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 attractive valuation levels. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income. Get the full Chevron 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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