5 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

All three major indices are trading up today with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) trading up 64 points (0.5%) at 13,945 as of Friday, Feb. 22, 2013, 12:05 PM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,966 issues advancing vs. 866 declining with 154 unchanged.

The Basic Materials sector currently sits up 0.5% versus the S&P 500, which is up 0.4%. 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%. 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%.

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

5. Williams Partners ( WPZ) is one of the companies pushing the Basic Materials sector lower today. As of noon trading, Williams Partners is down $0.62 (-1.2%) to $51.30 on average volume Thus far, 325,251 shares of Williams Partners exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 750,100 shares. The stock has ranged in price between $51.27-$52.68 after having opened the day at $52.28 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $51.92.

Williams Partners L.P., an energy infrastructure company, focuses on connecting North America's hydrocarbon resource plays to growing markets for natural gas and natural gas liquids. It operates in two segments, Gas Pipeline and Midstream Gas & Liquids. Williams Partners has a market cap of $19.0 billion and is part of the chemicals industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 48.3, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 10.2% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 9 analysts that rate Williams Partners a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 3 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Williams Partners as a buy. 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. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself. Get the full Williams Partners Ratings Report now.

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