4 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 up today with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) trading down 57 points (-0.4%) at 13,961 as of Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2013, 11:45 AM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,624 issues advancing vs. 1,238 declining with 155 unchanged.

The Basic Materials sector currently sits up 0.1% versus the S&P 500, which is unchanged. A company within the sector that fell today was Royal Dutch Shell ( RDS.A), up 1.5%.

TheStreet Ratings group would like to highlight 4 stocks pushing the sector lower today:

4. Royal Dutch Shell ( RDS.B) is one of the companies pushing the Basic Materials sector lower today. As of noon trading, Royal Dutch Shell is down $1.39 (-2.0%) to $68.08 on heavy volume Thus far, 920,916 shares of Royal Dutch Shell exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 848,900 shares. The stock has ranged in price between $68.04-$68.38 after having opened the day at $68.31 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $69.47.

Royal Dutch Shell plc operates as an oil and gas company worldwide. The company explores for and extracts crude oil and natural gas. Royal Dutch Shell has a market cap of $217.6 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 down 2.7% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Royal Dutch Shell as a buy. 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, attractive valuation levels, good cash flow from operations and increase in net income. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself. Get the full Royal Dutch Shell Ratings Report now.

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3. As of noon trading, BP ( BP) is down $0.92 (-2.1%) to $42.42 on heavy volume Thus far, 4.3 million shares of BP exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 5.5 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $42.37-$42.83 after having opened the day at $42.70 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $43.34.

BP p.l.c. provides fuel for transportation, energy for heat and light, lubricants to engines, and petrochemicals products. BP has a market cap of $136.6 billion and is part of the energy industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 5.3, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 3.3% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 7 analysts that rate BP a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 6 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates BP as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its attractive valuation levels, good cash flow from operations and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income. Get the full BP Ratings Report now.

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2. As of noon trading, Barrick Gold Corporation ( ABX) is down $0.57 (-1.8%) to $31.92 on average volume Thus far, 4.2 million shares of Barrick Gold Corporation exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 7.4 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $31.92-$32.58 after having opened the day at $32.36 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $32.49.

Barrick Gold Corporation engages in the production and sale of gold and copper. The company has a portfolio of 27 operating mines, and exploration and development projects located in North America, South America, the Australia Pacific region, and Africa. Barrick Gold Corporation has a market cap of $32.3 billion and is part of the metals & mining industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 9.6, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 7.7% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 10 analysts that rate Barrick Gold Corporation a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 10 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Barrick Gold Corporation as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its reasonable valuation levels, 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 weak operating cash flow, a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself and deteriorating net income. Get the full Barrick Gold Corporation Ratings Report now.

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1. As of noon trading, Cliffs Natural Resources ( CLF) is down $6.87 (-18.8%) to $29.74 on heavy volume Thus far, 22.6 million shares of Cliffs Natural Resources exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 7.5 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $29.33-$31.20 after having opened the day at $31.00 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $36.61.

Cliffs Natural Resources Inc., a mining and natural resources company, engages in the production of iron ore pellets, fines and lump ore, and metallurgical coal. Cliffs Natural Resources has a market cap of $5.2 billion and is part of the metals & mining industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 5.7, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 5.5% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 3 analysts that rate Cliffs Natural Resources a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 11 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Cliffs Natural Resources as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its attractive valuation levels and notable return on equity. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including deteriorating net income, poor profit margins and weak operating cash flow. Get the full Cliffs Natural Resources 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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