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.

Alpha Natural Resources ( ANR) pushed the Basic Materials sector lower today making it today's featured Basic Materials laggard. The sector as a whole was unchanged today. By the end of trading, Alpha Natural Resources fell 11 cents (-1.2%) to $9.21 on average volume. Throughout the day, 14.1 million shares of Alpha Natural Resources exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 17 million shares. The stock ranged in price between $9.12-$9.51 after having opened the day at $9.42 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $9.32. Other companies within the Basic Materials sector that declined today were: Zion Oil & Gas ( ZN), down 25.2%, Apco Oil and Gas International ( APAGF), down 7.4%, Timmins Gold ( TGD), down 7%, and AMCOL International Corporation ( ACO), down 6.8%.
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Alpha Natural Resources, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, engages in producing, processing, and selling steam and metallurgical coal in the United States. The company has mining operations in Virginia, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, and Wyoming. Alpha Natural Resources has a market cap of $2.17 billion and is part of the metals & mining industry. Shares are up 1.2% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are nine analysts that rate Alpha Natural Resources a buy, two analysts rate it a sell, and eight rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Alpha Natural Resources as a sell. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its deteriorating net income, disappointing return on equity, poor profit margins, weak operating cash flow and generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself.

On the positive front, Ossen Innovation ( OSN), up 17.9%, Molycorp ( MCP), up 13.2%, Mountain Province Diamonds ( MDM), up 10.6%, and Gold Standard Ventures ( GSV), up 9.8%, were all gainers within the basic materials sector with Transocean ( RIG) being today's featured basic materials sector leader.

For investors not wanting singular stock exposure, 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).

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