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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