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

Two out of the three major indices are trading lower today with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) trading up 15 points (0.1%) at 12,980 as of Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2012, 11:49 AM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,319 issues advancing vs. 1,553 declining with 162 unchanged.

The Basic Materials sector currently sits down 0.3% versus the S&P 500, which is down 0.1%. On the negative front, top decliners within the sector include Seadrill ( SDRL), down 4.3%, Southwestern Energy Company ( SWN), down 2.2%, Pioneer Natural Resources Company ( PXD), down 1.9%, Marathon Oil ( MRO), down 1.5% and Hess ( HES), down 1.5%. Top gainers within the sector include Noble Corporation ( NE), up 3.9%, ArcelorMittal ( MT), up 2.4%, Gerdau ( GGB), up 1.7%, PetroChina ( PTR), up 1.0% and Eni SpA ( E), up 0.9%.

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

5. Agnico-Eagle Mines ( AEM) is one of the companies pushing the Basic Materials sector lower today. As of noon trading, Agnico-Eagle Mines is down $1.34 (-2.4%) to $53.77 on average volume Thus far, 660,763 shares of Agnico-Eagle Mines exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1.7 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $53.60-$55.24 after having opened the day at $54.46 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $55.11.

Agnico-Eagle Mines Limited, through its subsidiaries, engages in the exploration, development, and production of mineral properties in Canada, Finland, and Mexico. It primarily explores for gold, as well as silver, copper, zinc, and lead. Agnico-Eagle Mines has a market cap of $9.6 billion and is part of the metals & mining industry. Shares are up 51.7% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are 7 analysts that rate Agnico-Eagle Mines a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 11 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Agnico-Eagle Mines 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 expanding profit margins. However, as a counter to these strengths, we find that the company's return on equity has been disappointing. Get the full Agnico-Eagle Mines Ratings Report now.

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4. As of noon trading, Encana ( ECA) is down $0.29 (-1.3%) to $21.41 on light volume Thus far, 837,788 shares of Encana exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 4.8 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $21.34-$21.67 after having opened the day at $21.60 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $21.70.

Encana Corporation and its subsidiaries engage in the exploration for, development, production, and marketing of natural gas, oil, and natural gas liquids. Encana has a market cap of $16.0 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are up 17.1% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are 2 analysts that rate Encana a buy, 3 analysts rate it a sell, and 12 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Encana as a sell. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its feeble growth in its earnings per share, deteriorating net income, disappointing return on equity, weak operating cash flow and generally high debt management risk. Get the full Encana Ratings Report now.

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3. As of noon trading, Nexen ( NXY) is down $0.39 (-1.6%) to $24.40 on light volume Thus far, 2.4 million shares of Nexen exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 7.5 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $24.21-$24.83 after having opened the day at $24.83 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $24.79.

Nexen Inc. operates as an independent energy company worldwide. The company's Conventional Oil and Gas segment explores for, develops, and produces crude oil and natural gas from conventional sources. Nexen has a market cap of $12.9 billion and is part of the energy industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 33.8, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 55.8% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are no analysts that rate Nexen a buy, 2 analysts rate it a sell, and 3 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Nexen as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, good cash flow from operations and solid stock price performance. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including feeble growth in the company's earnings per share, deteriorating net income and disappointing return on equity. Get the full Nexen Ratings Report now.

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2. As of noon trading, Apache Corporation ( APA) is down $0.44 (-0.6%) to $75.92 on light volume Thus far, 749,170 shares of Apache Corporation exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2.9 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $75.80-$76.47 after having opened the day at $76.30 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $76.36.

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 $30.2 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 down 15.7% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are 18 analysts that rate Apache Corporation a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 5 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.

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1. As of noon trading, Newmont Mining Corporation ( NEM) is down $0.40 (-0.9%) to $44.92 on average volume Thus far, 3.1 million shares of Newmont Mining Corporation exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 5.7 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $44.68-$45.39 after having opened the day at $44.90 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $45.33.

Newmont Mining Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, engages in the acquisition, exploration, and production of gold and copper properties. The company's assets or operations are located in the United States, Australia, Peru, Indonesia, Ghana, New Zealand, and Mexico. Newmont Mining Corporation has a market cap of $23.1 billion and is part of the metals & mining industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 109.5, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 21.5% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are 7 analysts that rate Newmont Mining Corporation a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 9 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Newmont Mining Corporation as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its expanding profit margins and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself. Get the full Newmont Mining Corporation 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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