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 35 points (0.3%) at 14,006 as of Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2013, 12:05 PM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,786 issues advancing vs. 1,060 declining with 154 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 Canadian Natural Resources ( CNQ), up 2.9%, Cameco ( CCJ), up 2.4%, Teck Resources ( TCK), up 2.3%, Anglogold Ashanti ( AU), up 2.0% and Eni SpA ( E), up 1.3%. On the negative front, top decliners within the sector include Valspar Corporation ( VAL), down 7.6%, Ocean Rig UDW ( ORIG), down 6.5%, Huntsman Corporation ( HUN), down 4.5%, Kosmos Energy ( KOS), down 3.9% and Valero Energy Corporation ( VLO), down 0.8%.

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

5. Nexen ( NXY) is one of the companies pushing the Basic Materials sector higher today. As of noon trading, Nexen is up $0.56 (2.1%) to $27.43 on heavy volume Thus far, 51.9 million shares of Nexen exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 9.5 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $27.42-$27.44 after having opened the day at $27.43 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $26.87.

Nexen Inc. operates as an independent energy company worldwide. The company's Conventional Oil and Gas segment explores for, develops, and produces crude oil and natural gas from conventional sources. Nexen has a market cap of $14.3 billion and is part of the energy industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 37.4, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 0.1% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are no analysts that rate Nexen a buy, 2 analysts rate it a sell, and 3 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Nexen as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, good cash flow from operations and solid stock price performance. 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 disappointing return on equity. Get the full Nexen Ratings Report now.

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4. As of noon trading, Newmont Mining Corporation ( NEM) is up $0.40 (0.9%) to $44.90 on average volume Thus far, 2.4 million shares of Newmont Mining Corporation exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 5.9 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $44.38-$45.18 after having opened the day at $44.40 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $44.49.

Newmont Mining Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, engages in the acquisition, exploration, and production of gold and copper properties. The company's assets or operations are located in the United States, Australia, Peru, Indonesia, Ghana, New Zealand, and Mexico. Newmont Mining Corporation has a market cap of $22.1 billion and is part of the metals & mining industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 104.5, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 3.3% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are 9 analysts that rate Newmont Mining Corporation a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 9 rate it a hold.

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

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3. As of noon trading, National Oilwell Varco ( NOV) is up $0.73 (1.1%) to $68.99 on light volume Thus far, 1.3 million shares of National Oilwell Varco exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 4.2 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $68.30-$69.00 after having opened the day at $68.51 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $68.26.

National Oilwell Varco, Inc. designs, constructs, manufactures, and sells systems, components, and products for oil and gas drilling and production, as well as provides oilfield services and supplies, and supply chain integration services to the upstream oil and gas industry worldwide. National Oilwell Varco has a market cap of $29.5 billion and is part of the energy industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 11.8, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 1.1% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are 18 analysts that rate National Oilwell Varco a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 4 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates National Oilwell Varco 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, impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income and attractive valuation levels. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins. Get the full National Oilwell Varco Ratings Report now.

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2. As of noon trading, Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold ( FCX) is up $0.21 (0.6%) to $35.54 on light volume Thus far, 2.9 million shares of Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 19.1 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $35.12-$35.59 after having opened the day at $35.32 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $35.33.

Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc. engages in the exploration, mining, and production of mineral resources. The company primarily explores for copper, gold, molybdenum, cobalt hydroxide, silver, and other metals, such as rhenium and magnetite. Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold has a market cap of $33.8 billion and is part of the metals & mining industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 11.2, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 4.2% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are 9 analysts that rate Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 4 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold 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 increase in net income. However, as a counter to these strengths, we find that the stock has had a generally disappointing performance in the past year. Get the full Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Ratings Report now.

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1. As of noon trading, Chevron ( CVX) is up $0.72 (0.6%) to $116.36 on light volume Thus far, 1.4 million shares of Chevron exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 5.9 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $115.51-$116.40 after having opened the day at $115.72 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $115.64.

Chevron Corporation, through its subsidiaries, engages in petroleum, chemicals, mining, power generation, and energy operations worldwide. It operates in two segments, Upstream and Downstream. Chevron has a market cap of $226.3 billion and is part of the energy industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 8.7, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 6.9% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are 12 analysts that rate Chevron a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 3 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Chevron as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its increase in stock price during the past year, 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 has had somewhat disappointing return on equity. Get the full Chevron 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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