3 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

One out of the three major indices are trading lower today with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) trading up 51 points (0.4%) at 13,835 as of Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2013, 11:49 AM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,532 issues advancing vs. 1,325 declining with 146 unchanged.

The Basic Materials sector currently sits down 0.3% versus the S&P 500, which is unchanged. Top gainers within the sector include Randgold Resources ( GOLD), up 2.7%, Gerdau ( GGB), up 2.6%, Chesapeake Energy ( CHK), up 2.5%, Goldcorp ( GG), up 2.1% and Anglogold Ashanti ( AU), up 1.5%. On the negative front, top decliners within the sector include Chemtura Corporation ( CHMT), down 11.0%, ONEOK Partners L.P ( OKS), down 4.5%, CF Industries Holdings ( CF), down 3.4%, Talisman Energy ( TLM), down 2.8% and Suncor Energy ( SU), down 2.2%.

TheStreet Ratings group would like to highlight 3 stocks pushing the sector higher today:

3. E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Company ( DD) is one of the companies pushing the Basic Materials sector higher today. As of noon trading, E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Company is up $0.37 (0.8%) to $46.80 on light volume Thus far, 2.1 million shares of E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Company exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 6.1 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $46.48-$46.99 after having opened the day at $46.49 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $46.43.

E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company operates as a science and technology based company worldwide. Its Agriculture segment provides corn hybrid, soybean, canola, sunflower, sorghum, inoculants, wheat, and rice seed products under the Pioneer brand; and herbicides, fungicides, and insecticides. E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Company has a market cap of $44.1 billion and is part of the chemicals industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 18.1, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 5.0% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are 7 analysts that rate E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Company a buy, 2 analysts rate it a sell, and 9 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Company as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its good cash flow from operations and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income. Get the full E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Company Ratings Report now.

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2. As of noon trading, PPG Industries ( PPG) is up $1.41 (1.1%) to $131.71 on light volume Thus far, 806,816 shares of PPG Industries exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3.5 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $130.63-$132.72 after having opened the day at $130.79 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $130.30.

PPG Industries, Inc. manufactures and supplies protective and decorative coatings. PPG Industries has a market cap of $18.9 billion and is part of the chemicals industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 21.8, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 2.2% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are 12 analysts that rate PPG Industries a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 6 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates PPG Industries as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, expanding profit margins, solid stock price performance, growth in earnings per share and increase in net income. Although the company may harbor some minor weaknesses, we feel they are unlikely to have a significant impact on results. Get the full PPG Industries Ratings Report now.

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1. As of noon trading, Chevron ( CVX) is up $0.52 (0.5%) to $114.06 on average volume Thus far, 2.2 million shares of Chevron exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 5.8 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $113.75-$114.99 after having opened the day at $114.47 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $113.54.

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 $227.0 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 7.2% 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 3 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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