3 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

All three major indices are trading down today with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) trading down 24 points (-0.2%) at 13,886 as of Thursday, Jan. 31, 2013, 11:49 AM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,305 issues advancing vs. 1,515 declining with 144 unchanged.

The Basic Materials sector currently sits down 0.3% versus the S&P 500, which is down 0.3%. A company within the sector that increased today was Occidental Petroleum Corporation ( OXY), up 2.9%. On the negative front, top decliners within the sector include ConocoPhillips ( COP), down 4.8%, Royal Dutch Shell ( RDS.B), down 2.4%, Petroleo Brasileiro SA Petrobras ( PBR.A), down 1.8%, Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan ( POT), down 1.7% and Total ( TOT), down 0.9%.

TheStreet Ratings group would like to highlight 3 stocks pushing the sector higher today:

3. Core Laboratories N.V ( CLB) is one of the companies pushing the Basic Materials sector higher today. As of noon trading, Core Laboratories N.V is up $9.90 (8.4%) to $127.10 on heavy volume Thus far, 742,891 shares of Core Laboratories N.V exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 285,400 shares. The stock has ranged in price between $122.05-$128.94 after having opened the day at $125.65 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $117.20.

Core Laboratories N.V. engages in the provision of reservoir description, production enhancement, and reservoir management services to the oil and gas industry worldwide. Core Laboratories N.V has a market cap of $5.6 billion and is part of the energy industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 26.6, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 9.2% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 3 analysts that rate Core Laboratories N.V a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 5 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Core Laboratories N.V 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, expanding profit margins and good cash flow from operations. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company is trading at a premium valuation based on our review of its current price compared to such things as earnings and book value. Get the full Core Laboratories N.V Ratings Report now.

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2. As of noon trading, Cameron International Corporation ( CAM) is up $2.15 (3.5%) to $63.05 on heavy volume Thus far, 2.8 million shares of Cameron International Corporation exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2.1 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $59.46-$63.80 after having opened the day at $59.86 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $60.90.

Cameron International Corporation provides flow equipment products, systems, and services worldwide. Cameron International Corporation has a market cap of $15.1 billion and is part of the energy industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 24.2, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 9.4% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 20 analysts that rate Cameron International Corporation a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 2 rate it a hold.

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

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1. As of noon trading, Vale ( VALE) is up $0.33 (1.7%) to $19.80 on average volume Thus far, 7.8 million shares of Vale exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 14.9 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $19.62-$19.88 after having opened the day at $19.73 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $19.47.

Vale S.A. engages in the exploration, production, and sale of basic metals in Brazil and internationally. The company is also involved in energy, logistics, and steel businesses. Vale has a market cap of $137.8 billion and is part of the metals & mining industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 4.5, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 6.2% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 3 analysts that rate Vale a buy, 2 analysts rate it a sell, and 8 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Vale 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 attractive valuation levels. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself and feeble growth in the company's earnings per share. Get the full Vale Ratings Report now.

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If you are interested in one of these 3 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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