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

All three major indices are trading up today with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) trading up 51 points (0.4%) at 14,033 as of Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2013, 11:50 AM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,948 issues advancing vs. 943 declining with 147 unchanged.

The Basic Materials sector currently sits up 0.1% versus the S&P 500, which is up 0.5%. Top gainers within the sector include Braskem ( BAK), up 7.7%, ArcelorMittal ( MT), up 2.7%, Total ( TOT), up 2.5%, Marathon Oil ( MRO), up 2.2% and Statoil ASA ( STO), up 1.4%. On the negative front, top decliners within the sector include Ecopetrol S.A ( EC), down 3.1%, PPG Industries ( PPG), down 2.4%, Sherwin-Williams Company ( SHW), down 2.1%, Barrick Gold Corporation ( ABX), down 1.5% and BP ( BP), down 1.2%.

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

5. Petroleo Brasileiro SA Petrobras ( PBR) is one of the companies pushing the Basic Materials sector higher today. As of noon trading, Petroleo Brasileiro SA Petrobras is up $0.42 (2.6%) to $16.38 on average volume Thus far, 6.4 million shares of Petroleo Brasileiro SA Petrobras exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 15.6 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $16.22-$16.40 after having opened the day at $16.31 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $15.96.

Petroleo Brasileiro S.A. operates as an integrated oil and gas company in Brazil and internationally. Petroleo Brasileiro SA Petrobras has a market cap of $104.1 billion and is part of the energy industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 5.2, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 18.0% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are 2 analysts that rate Petroleo Brasileiro SA Petrobras a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 9 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Petroleo Brasileiro SA Petrobras as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its increase in net income, attractive valuation levels and growth in earnings per share. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including disappointing return on equity, weak operating cash flow and poor profit margins. Get the full Petroleo Brasileiro SA Petrobras Ratings Report now.

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4. As of noon trading, Anadarko Petroleum ( APC) is up $1.10 (1.3%) to $83.18 on average volume Thus far, 1.3 million shares of Anadarko Petroleum exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3.1 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $82.40-$83.45 after having opened the day at $82.84 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $82.08.

Anadarko Petroleum Corporation engages in the exploration, development, production, and marketing of natural gas, crude oil, condensate, and natural gas liquids(NGLs) in the United States, Algeria, and internationally. Anadarko Petroleum has a market cap of $41.0 billion and is part of the energy industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 17.2, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 10.5% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are 22 analysts that rate Anadarko Petroleum a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 3 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Anadarko Petroleum as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its compelling growth in net income, good cash flow from operations, expanding profit margins, impressive record of earnings per share growth 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 Anadarko Petroleum Ratings Report now.

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3. As of noon trading, ConocoPhillips ( COP) is up $1.02 (1.8%) to $58.04 on average volume Thus far, 3.3 million shares of ConocoPhillips exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 6.8 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $57.52-$58.05 after having opened the day at $57.64 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $57.02.

ConocoPhillips explores for, produces, transports, and markets crude oil, natural gas, natural gas liquids, liquefied natural gas and bitumen on a worldwide basis. ConocoPhillips has a market cap of $69.2 billion and is part of the energy industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 10.6, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 1.7% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are 7 analysts that rate ConocoPhillips a buy, 4 analysts rate it a sell, and 5 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates ConocoPhillips as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its expanding profit margins and growth in earnings per share. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income. Get the full ConocoPhillips Ratings Report now.

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2. As of noon trading, Occidental Petroleum Corporation ( OXY) is up $0.99 (1.2%) to $85.70 on average volume Thus far, 2.0 million shares of Occidental Petroleum Corporation exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 4.6 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $85.10-$85.79 after having opened the day at $85.27 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $84.71.

Occidental Petroleum Corporation engages in the exploration and production of oil and gas properties in the United States and internationally. The company operates in three segments: Oil and Gas; Chemical; and Midstream, Marketing, and Other. Occidental Petroleum Corporation has a market cap of $68.6 billion and is part of the energy industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 14.8, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 10.6% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are 11 analysts that rate Occidental Petroleum Corporation a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 8 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Occidental Petroleum Corporation as a buy. Among the primary strengths of the company is its revenue growth. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income. Get the full Occidental Petroleum Corporation Ratings Report now.

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1. As of noon trading, Chevron ( CVX) is up $1.01 (0.9%) to $115.97 on light volume Thus far, 1.6 million shares of Chevron exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 5.7 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $115.19-$116.08 after having opened the day at $115.19 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $114.96.

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 $225.0 billion and is part of the energy industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 8.6, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 6.3% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. 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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