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 104 points (0.8%) at 14,004 as of Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2013, 12:05 PM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 2,181 issues advancing vs. 685 declining with 127 unchanged.

The Basic Materials sector currently sits up 0.8% versus the S&P 500, which is up 0.8%. Top gainers within the sector include Range Resources Corporation ( RRC), up 3.7%, HollyFrontier ( HFC), up 3.4%, Tenaris ( TS), up 3.2%, Anadarko Petroleum ( APC), up 2.9% and Eastman Chemical Company ( EMN), up 3.3%. On the negative front, top decliners within the sector include Anglogold Ashanti ( AU), down 2.0%, Goldcorp ( GG), down 1.3%, Newmont Mining Corporation ( NEM), down 1.4% and Barrick Gold Corporation ( ABX), down 1.2%.

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

5. Marathon Petroleum ( MPC) is one of the companies pushing the Basic Materials sector higher today. As of noon trading, Marathon Petroleum is up $1.90 (2.4%) to $82.45 on light volume Thus far, 855,118 shares of Marathon Petroleum exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3.4 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $80.18-$82.49 after having opened the day at $80.38 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $80.55.

Marathon Petroleum Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, engages in refining, transporting, and marketing petroleum products primarily in the United States. Marathon Petroleum has a market cap of $26.9 billion and is part of the energy industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 8.1, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 27.9% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 9 analysts that rate Marathon Petroleum a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 2 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Marathon Petroleum as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its notable return on equity, revenue growth and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. However, as a counter to these strengths, we find that the company's profit margins have been poor overall. Get the full Marathon Petroleum Ratings Report now.

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4. As of noon trading, National Oilwell Varco ( NOV) is up $1.69 (2.5%) to $68.53 on light volume Thus far, 1.2 million shares of National Oilwell Varco exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 4.3 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $66.75-$68.56 after having opened the day at $66.85 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $66.84.

National Oilwell Varco, Inc. designs, constructs, manufactures, and sells systems, components, and products for oil and gas drilling and production, as well as provides oilfield services and supplies, and supply chain integration services to the upstream oil and gas industry worldwide. National Oilwell Varco has a market cap of $28.3 billion and is part of the energy industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 11.4, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 3.1% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 18 analysts that rate National Oilwell Varco a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 4 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates National Oilwell Varco as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income and attractive valuation levels. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins. Get the full National Oilwell Varco Ratings Report now.

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3. As of noon trading, Occidental Petroleum Corporation ( OXY) is up $0.69 (0.8%) to $82.47 on average volume Thus far, 1.8 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 $81.47-$82.56 after having opened the day at $81.65 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $81.78.

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 $66.5 billion and is part of the energy industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 14.4, 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 Tuesday. Currently there are 12 analysts that rate Occidental Petroleum Corporation a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 7 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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2. As of noon trading, ConocoPhillips ( COP) is up $0.40 (0.7%) to $58.15 on light volume Thus far, 2.2 million shares of ConocoPhillips exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 7.0 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $57.41-$58.18 after having opened the day at $57.57 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $57.75.

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 $69.5 billion and is part of the energy 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 1.9% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. 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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1. As of noon trading, Schlumberger ( SLB) is up $1.12 (1.5%) to $77.45 on light volume Thus far, 1.6 million shares of Schlumberger exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 6.6 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $75.98-$77.52 after having opened the day at $76.21 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $76.33.

Schlumberger Limited, together with its subsidiaries, engages in the supply of technology, integrated project management, and information solutions to oil and gas exploration and production industries worldwide. Schlumberger has a market cap of $100.7 billion and is part of the energy industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 18.7, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 9.4% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 23 analysts that rate Schlumberger a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 3 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Schlumberger as a hold. 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 and notable return on equity. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including relatively poor performance when compared with the S&P 500 during the past year and poor profit margins. Get the full Schlumberger 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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