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

All three major indices are trading down today with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) trading down 25 points (-0.2%) at 14,513 as of Friday, March 15, 2013, 12:49 PM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,309 issues advancing vs. 1,578 declining with 140 unchanged.

The Basic Materials sector currently sits up 0.5% versus the S&P 500, which is down 0.1%. Top gainers within the sector include National Oilwell Varco ( NOV), up 3.3%, Imperial Oil ( IMO), up 1.9%, Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold ( FCX), up 1.8%, Valero Energy Corporation ( VLO), up 1.7% and Suncor Energy ( SU), up 1.5%. On the negative front, top decliners within the sector include POSCO ( PKX), down 2.2%, Ecopetrol S.A ( EC), down 1.1%, Kinder Morgan ( KMI), down 0.7%, ConocoPhillips ( COP), down 0.7% and Total ( TOT), down 0.5%.

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

3. Cenovus Energy ( CVE) is one of the companies pushing the Basic Materials sector higher today. As of noon trading, Cenovus Energy is up $0.50 (1.6%) to $32.44 on average volume Thus far, 384,281 shares of Cenovus Energy exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 920,400 shares. The stock has ranged in price between $31.94-$32.45 after having opened the day at $31.97 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $31.95.

Cenovus Energy Inc., an integrated oil company, together with its subsidiaries, engages in the development, production, and marketing of bitumen, crude oil, natural gas, and natural gas liquids (NGLs) in Canada with refining operations in the United States. Cenovus Energy has a market cap of $23.9 billion and is part of the energy industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 24.0, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 4.7% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 10 analysts that rate Cenovus Energy a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 3 rate it a hold.

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

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