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

One out of the three major indices are trading lower 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%. On the negative front, top decliners within the sector include Noble Corporation ( NE), down 2.0%, Teck Resources ( TCK), down 1.8%, Tenaris ( TS), down 1.7%, Total ( TOT), down 1.6% and ArcelorMittal ( MT), down 1.6%. 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 1.9%, Gerdau ( GGB), up 1.6% and Occidental Petroleum Corporation ( OXY), up 1.3%.

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

5. Imperial Oil ( IMO) is one of the companies pushing the Basic Materials sector lower today. As of noon trading, Imperial Oil is down $0.51 (-1.2%) to $43.40 on light volume Thus far, 49,927 shares of Imperial Oil exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 206,200 shares. The stock has ranged in price between $43.33-$44.24 after having opened the day at $44.21 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $43.91.

Imperial Oil Limited engages in the exploration, production, and sale of crude oil and natural gas in Canada. The company operates through three segments: Upstream, Downstream, and Chemical. Imperial Oil has a market cap of $36.7 billion and is part of the energy industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 9.8, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 1.3% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are no analysts that rate Imperial Oil a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 3 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Imperial Oil as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income, attractive valuation levels and increase in stock price during the past year. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow. Get the full Imperial Oil Ratings Report now.

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4. As of noon trading, Statoil ASA ( STO) is down $0.13 (-0.5%) to $24.08 on light volume Thus far, 347,613 shares of Statoil ASA exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 934,500 shares. The stock has ranged in price between $23.97-$24.09 after having opened the day at $24.04 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $24.21.

Statoil ASA, an integrated energy company, engages in the exploration, production, transportation, refining, and marketing of petroleum and petroleum-derived products in Norway and internationally. Statoil ASA has a market cap of $76.9 billion and is part of the energy industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 8.0, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 5.8% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 4 analysts that rate Statoil ASA a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 3 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Statoil ASA as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, compelling growth in net income, attractive valuation levels, expanding profit margins and good cash flow from operations. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself. Get the full Statoil ASA Ratings Report now.

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3. As of noon trading, Williams Partners ( WPZ) is down $0.76 (-1.6%) to $47.25 on average volume Thus far, 307,268 shares of Williams Partners exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 635,300 shares. The stock has ranged in price between $47.11-$48.38 after having opened the day at $48.15 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $48.01.

Williams Partners L.P., an energy infrastructure company, focuses on connecting North America's hydrocarbon resource plays to growing markets for natural gas and natural gas liquids. It operates in two segments, Gas Pipeline and Midstream Gas & Liquids. Williams Partners has a market cap of $17.2 billion and is part of the chemicals industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 19.1, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 20.0% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 8 analysts that rate Williams Partners a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 2 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Williams Partners 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 Williams Partners Ratings Report now.

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2. As of noon trading, Suncor Energy ( SU) is down $0.20 (-0.6%) to $32.59 on light volume Thus far, 1.4 million shares of Suncor Energy exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 4.1 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $32.51-$33.18 after having opened the day at $33.10 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $32.79.

Suncor Energy Inc., together with its subsidiaries, operates as an integrated energy company. Suncor Energy has a market cap of $50.5 billion and is part of the energy industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 10.3, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 14.4% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 11 analysts that rate Suncor Energy a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and none rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Suncor Energy as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its increase in stock price during the past year, impressive record of earnings per share growth, increase in net income, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and attractive valuation levels. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins. Get the full Suncor Energy Ratings Report now.

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1. As of noon trading, Devon Energy ( DVN) is down $0.54 (-1.0%) to $52.55 on light volume Thus far, 1.2 million shares of Devon Energy exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3.1 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $52.43-$53.25 after having opened the day at $53.16 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $53.09.

Devon Energy Corporation, an independent energy company, engages primarily in exploration, development, and production of oil, natural gas, and natural gas liquids. Devon Energy has a market cap of $21.3 billion and is part of the energy industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 31.0, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 14.4% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 10 analysts that rate Devon Energy a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 11 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Devon Energy as a hold. Among the primary strengths of the company is its solid financial position based on a variety of debt and liquidity measures that we have evaluated. At the same time, however, we also find weaknesses including a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself, feeble growth in the company's earnings per share and deteriorating net income. Get the full Devon Energy 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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