4 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 42 points (0.3%) at 14,338 as of Thursday, March 7, 2013, 11:50 AM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,674 issues advancing vs. 1,197 declining with 153 unchanged.

The Basic Materials sector currently sits up 0.9% versus the S&P 500, which is up 0.2%. A company within the sector that fell today was Valero Energy Corporation ( VLO), up 2.8%. Top gainers within the sector include Petroleo Brasileiro SA Petrobras ( PBR.A), up 4.5%, Encana ( ECA), up 4.0%, Canadian Natural Resources ( CNQ), up 3.0%, EOG Resources ( EOG), up 1.5% and Eni SpA ( E), up 1.3%.

TheStreet Ratings group would like to highlight 4 stocks pushing the sector lower today:

4. Southern Copper Corporation ( SCCO) is one of the companies pushing the Basic Materials sector lower today. As of noon trading, Southern Copper Corporation is down $0.41 (-1.1%) to $37.37 on light volume Thus far, 557,745 shares of Southern Copper Corporation exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1.9 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $37.36-$38.14 after having opened the day at $37.80 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $37.78.

Southern Copper Corporation engages in mining, exploring, producing, smelting, and refining copper and other minerals in Peru, Mexico, and Chile. Southern Copper Corporation has a market cap of $31.9 billion and is part of the metals & mining industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 16.5, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 0.2% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are no analysts that rate Southern Copper Corporation a buy, 3 analysts rate it a sell, and 5 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Southern Copper Corporation as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its expanding profit margins, solid stock price performance, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow. Get the full Southern Copper Corporation Ratings Report now.

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3. As of noon trading, HollyFrontier ( HFC) is down $1.42 (-2.4%) to $56.74 on average volume Thus far, 1.6 million shares of HollyFrontier exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3.2 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $56.12-$58.49 after having opened the day at $58.45 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $58.16.

HollyFrontier Corporation operates as an independent petroleum refiner and marketer in the United States. It produces light products, such as gasoline, diesel fuel, jet fuel, specialty lubricant products, liquefied petroleum gas, fuel oil, and specialty and modified asphalt. HollyFrontier has a market cap of $11.8 billion and is part of the energy industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 6.9, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 24.9% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 9 analysts that rate HollyFrontier a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 5 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates HollyFrontier 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, solid stock price performance, 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 HollyFrontier Ratings Report now.

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2. As of noon trading, Goldcorp ( GG) is down $0.47 (-1.4%) to $32.88 on average volume Thus far, 3.5 million shares of Goldcorp exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 5.6 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $32.86-$33.74 after having opened the day at $33.39 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $33.35.

Goldcorp Inc. engages in the acquisition, development, exploration, and operation of precious metal properties. It primarily explores gold, silver, copper, lead, and zinc. Goldcorp has a market cap of $26.0 billion and is part of the metals & mining industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 16.4, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 12.8% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 13 analysts that rate Goldcorp a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 4 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Goldcorp as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, reasonable valuation levels and increase in net income. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself and disappointing return on equity. Get the full Goldcorp Ratings Report now.

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1. As of noon trading, Barrick Gold Corporation ( ABX) is down $0.44 (-1.5%) to $29.25 on average volume Thus far, 4.5 million shares of Barrick Gold Corporation exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 8.9 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $29.24-$30.10 after having opened the day at $29.76 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $29.69.

Barrick Gold Corporation engages in the production and sale of gold and copper. The company has a portfolio of 27 operating mines, and exploration and development projects located in North America, South America, the Australia Pacific region, and Africa. Barrick Gold Corporation has a market cap of $28.5 billion and is part of the metals & mining industry. Shares are down 15.2% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 10 analysts that rate Barrick Gold Corporation a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 10 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Barrick Gold Corporation as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth and good cash flow from operations. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including feeble growth in the company's earnings per share, deteriorating net income and disappointing return on equity. Get the full Barrick Gold Corporation 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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