4 Stocks Pushing The Energy Industry 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 Energy industry currently sits up 0.1% versus the S&P 500, which is up 0.2%. A company within the industry that increased today was Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation ( COG), up 2.5%. On the negative front, top decliners within the industry 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 Total ( TOT), down 0.8%.

TheStreet Ratings group would like to highlight 4 stocks pushing the industry higher today:

4. Ecopetrol S.A ( EC) is one of the companies pushing the Energy industry higher today. As of noon trading, Ecopetrol S.A is up $0.41 (0.7%) to $57.83 on light volume Thus far, 78,944 shares of Ecopetrol S.A exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 490,100 shares. The stock has ranged in price between $57.38-$57.95 after having opened the day at $57.38 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $57.42.

Ecopetrol S.A., an integrated oil company, engages in the exploration, development, and production of crude oil and natural gas. As of December 31, 2011, its proved reserves of crude oil and natural gas totaled 1,856.7 million barrels of oil equivalent. Ecopetrol S.A has a market cap of $117.8 billion and is part of the basic materials sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 9.6, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 28.7% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there is 1 analyst that rates Ecopetrol S.A a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 2 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Ecopetrol S.A as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, solid stock price performance, expanding profit margins, 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 Ecopetrol S.A Ratings Report now.

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3. As of noon trading, Noble Energy ( NBL) is up $2.25 (2.3%) to $98.29 on heavy volume Thus far, 984,572 shares of Noble Energy exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1.1 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $96.52-$99.00 after having opened the day at $98.83 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $96.04.

Noble Energy, Inc., through its subsidiaries, engages in the acquisition, exploration, development, production, and marketing of crude oil, natural gas, and natural gas liquids in the United States, West Africa, Eastern Mediterranean, the North Sea, and internationally. Noble Energy has a market cap of $17.1 billion and is part of the basic materials sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 40.7, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 1.7% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 15 analysts that rate Noble Energy a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 6 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Noble Energy as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, expanding profit margins, good cash flow from operations, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and increase in stock price during the past year. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income. Get the full Noble Energy Ratings Report now.

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2. As of noon trading, Marathon Petroleum ( MPC) is up $0.68 (1.2%) to $58.80 on light volume Thus far, 916,344 shares of Marathon Petroleum exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3.0 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $57.75-$58.91 after having opened the day at $57.94 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $58.11.

Marathon Petroleum Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, engages in refining, transporting, and marketing petroleum products primarily in the United States. Marathon Petroleum has a market cap of $20.1 billion and is part of the basic materials sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 8.0, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 77.7% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 9 analysts that rate Marathon Petroleum a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 1 rates it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Marathon Petroleum 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 notable return on equity. However, as a counter to these strengths, we find that the company's profit margins have been poor overall. Get the full Marathon Petroleum Ratings Report now.

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1. As of noon trading, Chevron ( CVX) is up $0.82 (0.8%) to $105.99 on average volume Thus far, 2.9 million shares of Chevron exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 6.2 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $105.29-$106.19 after having opened the day at $105.42 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $105.17.

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 $203.5 billion and is part of the basic materials sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 8.5, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 2.3% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 12 analysts that rate Chevron a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 2 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, attractive valuation levels and increase in stock price during the past year. 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.

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If you are interested in one of these 4 stocks, ETFs may be of interest. Investors who are bullish on the energy industry could consider Energy Select Sector SPDR ( XLE) while those bearish on the energy industry could consider Proshares Short Oil & Gas ( DDG).

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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