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

Two out of the three major indices are trading up today with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) trading up 40 points (0.3%) at 13,114 as of Friday, Dec. 7, 2012, 11:49 AM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,438 issues advancing vs. 1,420 declining with 156 unchanged.

The Basic Materials sector currently sits up 0.1% versus the S&P 500, which is up 0.1%. Top gainers within the sector include YPF Sociedad Anonima ( YPF), up 5.7%, Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold ( FCX), up 3.8%, Anadarko Petroleum ( APC), up 2.3%, Gerdau ( GGB), up 1.6% and Occidental Petroleum Corporation ( OXY), up 1.3%. On the negative front, top decliners within the sector include Noble Corporation ( NE), down 2.0%, Teck Resources ( TCK), down 2.0%, Tenaris ( TS), down 1.8%, Total ( TOT), down 1.6% and ArcelorMittal ( MT), down 1.4%.

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

5. POSCO ( PKX) is one of the companies pushing the Basic Materials sector higher today. As of noon trading, POSCO is up $0.98 (1.3%) to $77.30 on average volume Thus far, 98,238 shares of POSCO exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 181,200 shares. The stock has ranged in price between $77.27-$78.27 after having opened the day at $78.22 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $76.32.

POSCO engages in the manufacture and sale of steel products in Korea and internationally. POSCO has a market cap of $23.0 billion and is part of the metals & mining industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 6.0, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 9.4% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there is 1 analyst that rates POSCO a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and none rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates POSCO as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its attractive valuation levels, good cash flow from operations and notable return on equity. 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 poor profit margins. Get the full POSCO Ratings Report now.

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4. As of noon trading, Enbridge ( ENB) is up $1.16 (2.9%) to $41.51 on heavy volume Thus far, 609,578 shares of Enbridge exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 550,200 shares. The stock has ranged in price between $40.69-$41.52 after having opened the day at $40.77 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $40.35.

Enbridge Inc. transports and distributes crude oil and natural gas primarily in North America. It operates crude oil and liquids transportation system comprising approximately 24,738 kilometers of crude pipeline. Enbridge has a market cap of $32.2 billion and is part of the energy industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 38.8, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 7.8% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 9 analysts that rate Enbridge a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and none rate it a hold.

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

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3. As of noon trading, Goldcorp ( GG) is up $0.39 (1.1%) to $37.21 on average volume Thus far, 2.1 million shares of Goldcorp exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 5.1 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $37.06-$37.39 after having opened the day at $37.25 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $36.82.

Goldcorp Inc. engages in the acquisition, development, exploration, and operation of precious metal properties. It primarily explores gold, silver, copper, lead, and zinc. Goldcorp has a market cap of $30.0 billion and is part of the metals & mining industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 19.9, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 16.5% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 13 analysts that rate Goldcorp a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 4 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Goldcorp 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 reasonable valuation levels. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including weak operating cash flow, a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself and disappointing return on equity. Get the full Goldcorp Ratings Report now.

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2. As of noon trading, LyondellBasell Industries ( LYB) is up $1.36 (2.6%) to $53.26 on average volume Thus far, 2.1 million shares of LyondellBasell Industries exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 4.6 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $52.40-$53.40 after having opened the day at $52.40 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $51.90.

LyondellBasell Industries N.V. manufacturers and sells chemicals and polymers, refines crude oil, produces gasoline blending components, and develops and licenses technologies for the production of polymers. LyondellBasell Industries has a market cap of $29.8 billion and is part of the chemicals industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 15.7, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 59.7% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 11 analysts that rate LyondellBasell Industries a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 2 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates LyondellBasell Industries as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, attractive valuation levels and good cash flow from operations. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat weak growth in earnings per share. Get the full LyondellBasell Industries Ratings Report now.

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1. As of noon trading, Monsanto Company ( MON) is up $1.11 (1.2%) to $91.08 on light volume Thus far, 983,453 shares of Monsanto Company exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2.8 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $90.07-$91.13 after having opened the day at $90.07 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $89.97.

Monsanto Company, together with its subsidiaries, provides agricultural products for farmers. It operates in two segments, Seeds and Genomics, and Agricultural Productivity. Monsanto Company has a market cap of $47.9 billion and is part of the chemicals industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 23.7, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 28.4% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 11 analysts that rate Monsanto Company a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 5 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Monsanto Company 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, good cash flow from operations, notable return on equity, solid stock price performance 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 Monsanto Company 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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