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 22 points (0.2%) at 12,810 as of Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2012, 11:49 AM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,635 issues advancing vs. 1,204 declining with 167 unchanged.

The Basic Materials sector currently sits up 0.2% versus the S&P 500, which is up 0.0%. On the negative front, top decliners within the sector include Petroleo Brasileiro SA Petrobras ( PBR), down 2.3%, and POSCO ( PKX), down 2.0%. Top gainers within the sector include Eldorado Gold ( EGO), up 3.0%, Kinross Gold Corporation ( KGC), up 1.4%, Valero Energy Corporation ( VLO), up 1.6%, Barrick Gold Corporation ( ABX), up 1.2% and Southern Copper Corporation ( SCCO), up 1.3%.

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

3. Braskem ( BAK) is one of the companies pushing the Basic Materials sector lower today. As of noon trading, Braskem is down $0.73 (-5.6%) to $12.33 on average volume Thus far, 198,043 shares of Braskem exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 488,200 shares. The stock has ranged in price between $12.26-$12.62 after having opened the day at $12.53 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $13.06.

Braskem S.A., together with its subsidiaries, produces and sells basic petrochemicals and thermoplastic resins in Brazil and internationally. It operates through five segments: Basic Petrochemicals, Polyolefins, Vinyls, Foreign Businesses, and Chemical Distribution. Braskem has a market cap of $5.1 billion and is part of the chemicals industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 8.6, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 7.4% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are no analysts that rate Braskem a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 4 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Braskem as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, increase in net income and expanding profit margins. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including generally higher debt management risk, disappointing return on equity and weak operating cash flow. Get the full Braskem Ratings Report now.

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2. As of noon trading, Sociedad Quimica Y Minera De Chile ( SQM) is down $2.59 (-4.3%) to $57.06 on heavy volume Thus far, 698,381 shares of Sociedad Quimica Y Minera De Chile exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 390,500 shares. The stock has ranged in price between $56.91-$58.72 after having opened the day at $58.52 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $59.65.

Chemical and Mining Company of Chile Inc. engages in the production and sale of fertilizers and specialty chemicals in Chile and internationally. Sociedad Quimica Y Minera De Chile has a market cap of $15.6 billion and is part of the chemicals industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 28.6, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 9.9% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 2 analysts that rate Sociedad Quimica Y Minera De Chile a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 4 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Sociedad Quimica Y Minera De Chile as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income, notable return on equity and expanding profit margins. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself. Get the full Sociedad Quimica Y Minera De Chile Ratings Report now.

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1. As of noon trading, Vale ( VALE) is down $0.21 (-1.2%) to $17.13 on average volume Thus far, 8.4 million shares of Vale exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 21.1 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $17.03-$17.29 after having opened the day at $17.20 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $17.34.

Vale S.A. engages in the exploration, production, and sale of basic metals in Brazil and internationally. The company is also involved in energy, logistics, and steel businesses. Vale has a market cap of $124.0 billion and is part of the metals & mining industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 4.0, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 18.8% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 3 analysts that rate Vale a buy, 2 analysts rate it a sell, and 8 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Vale as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and attractive valuation levels. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself and feeble growth in the company's earnings per share. Get the full Vale Ratings Report now.

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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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