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

All three major indices are trading up today with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) trading up 17 points (0.1%) at 13,052 as of Thursday, Dec. 6, 2012, 11:50 AM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,459 issues advancing vs. 1,413 declining with 145 unchanged.

The Basic Materials sector currently sits up 0.2% versus the S&P 500, which is up 0.2%. Top gainers within the sector include POSCO ( PKX), up 2.7%, Buenaventura Mining Company ( BVN), up 2.5%, Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation ( COG), up 2.5%, Noble Energy ( NBL), up 2.3% and PPG Industries ( PPG), up 2.3%. On the negative front, top decliners within the sector include Eni SpA ( E), down 2.0%, Apache Corporation ( APA), down 1.9%, Hess ( HES), down 1.8%, Continental Resources ( CLR), down 1.5% and Williams Companies ( WMB), down 0.9%.

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

5. Gerdau ( GGB) is one of the companies pushing the Basic Materials sector higher today. As of noon trading, Gerdau is up $0.11 (1.3%) to $8.63 on average volume Thus far, 3.0 million shares of Gerdau exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 6.6 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $8.56-$8.65 after having opened the day at $8.62 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $8.52.

Gerdau S.A. engages in the production and commercialization of steel products worldwide. Gerdau has a market cap of $14.2 billion and is part of the metals & mining industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 6.9, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 6.7% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 2 analysts that rate Gerdau a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 2 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Gerdau as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, solid stock price performance and attractive valuation levels. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including disappointing return on equity, poor profit margins and feeble growth in the company's earnings per share. Get the full Gerdau Ratings Report now.

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