E, TOT And DD, Pushing Basic Materials Sector Downward

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 79 points (0.6%) at 14,527 as of Tuesday, March 26, 2013, 12:49 PM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,808 issues advancing vs. 1,104 declining with 127 unchanged.

The Basic Materials sector currently is unchanged today versus the S&P 500, which is up 0.4%. A company within the sector that fell today was Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan ( POT), up 0.8%. Top gainers within the sector include Monsanto Company ( MON), up 3.9%, Ecopetrol S.A ( EC), up 1.5%, PetroChina ( PTR), up 1.0%, Anadarko Petroleum ( APC), up 1.0% and Royal Dutch Shell ( RDS.A), up 0.9%.

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

3. Eni SpA ( E) is one of the companies pushing the Basic Materials sector lower today. As of noon trading, Eni SpA is down $0.53 (-1.1%) to $45.91 on light volume Thus far, 253,602 shares of Eni SpA exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 747,500 shares. The stock has ranged in price between $45.73-$46.27 after having opened the day at $46.24 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $46.44.

Eni SpA, an integrated energy company, engages in the exploration, production, transportation, transformation, and marketing of oil and natural gas. Eni SpA has a market cap of $85.5 billion and is part of the energy industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 4.8, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 5.5% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are 6 analysts that rate Eni SpA a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 2 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Eni SpA as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, solid stock price performance, 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 weak operating cash flow. Get the full Eni SpA Ratings Report now.

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2. As of noon trading, Total ( TOT) is down $0.31 (-0.6%) to $48.50 on heavy volume Thus far, 2.1 million shares of Total exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1.5 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $48.33-$48.85 after having opened the day at $48.78 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $48.81.

TOTAL S.A., together with its subsidiaries, operates as an integrated oil and gas company worldwide. The company operates in three segments: Upstream, Downstream, and Chemicals. Total has a market cap of $112.0 billion and is part of the energy industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 7.2, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 6.2% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are 4 analysts that rate Total a buy, 2 analysts rate it a sell, and 1 rates it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Total as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, increase in net income, attractive valuation levels, good cash flow from operations and growth in earnings per share. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins. Get the full Total Ratings Report now.

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1. As of noon trading, E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Company ( DD) is down $0.34 (-0.7%) to $48.77 on average volume Thus far, 3.3 million shares of E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Company exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 5.8 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $48.52-$49.20 after having opened the day at $49.09 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $49.11.

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 $45.3 billion and is part of the chemicals industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 18.9, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 9.2% 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. Among the primary strengths of the company is its generally strong cash flow from operations. 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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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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