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 59 points (0.4%) at 13,940 as of Friday, Feb. 22, 2013, 11:49 AM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,920 issues advancing vs. 903 declining with 157 unchanged.

The Basic Materials sector currently sits up 0.5% versus the S&P 500, which is up 0.5%. Top gainers within the sector include Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation ( COG), up 7.9%, Concho Resources ( CXO), up 3.0%, Energy Transfer Equity ( ETE), up 2.4%, LyondellBasell Industries ( LYB), up 2.4% and Tenaris ( TS), up 1.9%. On the negative front, top decliners within the sector include World Fuel Services Corporation ( INT), down 10.2%, Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold ( FCX), down 1.3%, Ensco PLC Class A ( ESV), down 1.3%, Southern Copper Corporation ( SCCO), down 1.2% and Statoil ASA ( STO), down 0.6%.

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

5. Suncor Energy ( SU) is one of the companies pushing the Basic Materials sector higher today. As of noon trading, Suncor Energy is up $0.16 (0.5%) to $31.08 on average volume Thus far, 1.5 million shares of Suncor Energy exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3.6 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $30.79-$31.14 after having opened the day at $30.93 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $30.92.

Suncor Energy Inc., together with its subsidiaries, operates as an integrated energy company. Suncor Energy has a market cap of $48.1 billion and is part of the energy industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 9.8, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 4.9% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 12 analysts that rate Suncor Energy a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and none rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Suncor Energy as a hold. Among the primary strengths of the company is its solid financial position based on a variety of debt and liquidity measures that we have evaluated. At the same time, however, we also find weaknesses including a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself, feeble growth in the company's earnings per share and deteriorating net income. Get the full Suncor Energy Ratings Report now.

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4. As of noon trading, Eastman Chemical Company ( EMN) is up $1.69 (2.5%) to $70.41 on average volume Thus far, 763,712 shares of Eastman Chemical Company exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1.6 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $69.25-$70.55 after having opened the day at $69.26 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $68.72.

Eastman Chemical Company, a chemical company, engages in the manufacture and sale of chemicals, plastics, and fibers in the United States and internationally. Eastman Chemical Company has a market cap of $10.8 billion and is part of the chemicals industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 18.4, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 3.2% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 10 analysts that rate Eastman Chemical Company a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 4 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Eastman Chemical Company as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, good cash flow from operations, solid stock price performance and reasonable valuation levels. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income. Get the full Eastman Chemical Company Ratings Report now.

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3. As of noon trading, Praxair ( PX) is up $1.00 (0.9%) to $110.96 on average volume Thus far, 422,822 shares of Praxair exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1.1 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $109.95-$111.28 after having opened the day at $110.15 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $109.96.

Praxair, Inc. engages in the production, distribution, and sale atmospheric and process gases, as well as surface coatings in North America, Europe, South America, and Asia. Praxair has a market cap of $32.8 billion and is part of the chemicals industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 19.8, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 0.8% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 9 analysts that rate Praxair a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 6 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Praxair as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, expanding profit margins, good cash flow from operations, increase in stock price during the past year and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had generally high debt management risk by most measures that we evaluated. Get the full Praxair Ratings Report now.

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2. As of noon trading, Royal Dutch Shell ( RDS.A) is up $0.53 (0.8%) to $65.71 on light volume Thus far, 568,197 shares of Royal Dutch Shell exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2.1 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $65.29-$65.83 after having opened the day at $65.64 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $65.18.

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 $206.7 billion and is part of the energy industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 8.3, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 4.9% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

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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1. As of noon trading, Kinder Morgan ( KMI) is up $0.21 (0.6%) to $36.94 on light volume Thus far, 699,676 shares of Kinder Morgan exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 5.1 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $36.67-$37.06 after having opened the day at $36.90 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $36.73.

Kinder Morgan, Inc. owns and operates energy transportation and storage assets in the United States and Canada. The company operates in six segments: Products Pipelines-KMP, Natural Gas Pipelines KMP, CO2 KMP, Terminals KMP, Kinder Morgan Canada KMP, and NGPL PipeCo LLC. Kinder Morgan has a market cap of $38.5 billion and is part of the energy industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 72.8, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 5.1% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 6 analysts that rate Kinder Morgan a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 4 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Kinder Morgan as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, expanding profit margins and increase in net income. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including generally higher debt management risk and disappointing return on equity. Get the full Kinder Morgan 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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