Basic Materials Stocks On The Rise With Help From 5 Stocks

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 15 points (0.1%) at 14,565 as of Thursday, April 4, 2013, 12:50 PM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,512 issues advancing vs. 1,354 declining with 153 unchanged.

The Basic Materials sector currently sits down 0.1% versus the S&P 500, which is up 0.1%. Top gainers within the sector include New Gold ( NGD), up 4.9%, Yamana Gold ( AUY), up 2.1%, Anglogold Ashanti ( AU), up 2.2%, Barrick Gold Corporation ( ABX), up 1.4% and Monsanto Company ( MON), up 1.3%. On the negative front, top decliners within the sector include Suncor Energy ( SU), down 2.7%, Cenovus Energy ( CVE), down 2.6%, Tenaris ( TS), down 1.9%, Canadian Natural Resources ( CNQ), down 1.8% and National Oilwell Varco ( NOV), down 1.4%.

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

5. Silver Wheaton Corporation ( SLW) is one of the companies pushing the Basic Materials sector higher today. As of noon trading, Silver Wheaton Corporation is up $0.46 (1.6%) to $28.81 on heavy volume Thus far, 3.4 million shares of Silver Wheaton Corporation exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3.6 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $27.94-$28.88 after having opened the day at $28.16 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $28.35.

Silver Wheaton Corp., a mining company, together with its subsidiaries, operates as a silver streaming company worldwide. Silver Wheaton Corporation has a market cap of $10.5 billion and is part of the metals & mining industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 17.9, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 21.4% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 11 analysts that rate Silver Wheaton Corporation a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and none rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Silver Wheaton Corporation 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, growth in earnings per share, increase in net income and good cash flow from operations. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself. Get the full Silver Wheaton Corporation Ratings Report now.

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4. As of noon trading, Praxair ( PX) is up $0.60 (0.5%) to $110.90 on light volume Thus far, 332,821 shares of Praxair exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1.2 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $110.39-$111.98 after having opened the day at $110.69 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $110.31.

Praxair, Inc. engages in the production, distribution, and sale of atmospheric and process gases, and surface coatings in North America, Europe, South America, and Asia. Praxair has a market cap of $32.8 billion and is part of the chemicals industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 19.8, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 0.8% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 9 analysts that rate Praxair a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 6 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Praxair as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, expanding profit margins, 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 Praxair Ratings Report now.

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3. As of noon trading, Dow Chemical ( DOW) is up $0.26 (0.8%) to $31.26 on light volume Thus far, 2.1 million shares of Dow Chemical exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 7.8 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $31.07-$31.55 after having opened the day at $31.07 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $31.00.

The Dow Chemical Company manufactures and supplies chemical products used as raw materials in the manufacture of customer products and services worldwide. Dow Chemical has a market cap of $37.4 billion and is part of the chemicals industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 44.2, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 4.1% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 2 analysts that rate Dow Chemical a buy, 4 analysts rate it a sell, and 13 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Dow Chemical as a buy. The company's strongest point has been its a solid financial position based on a variety of debt and liquidity measures that we have looked at. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself. Get the full Dow Chemical Ratings Report now.

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2. As of noon trading, Marathon Petroleum ( MPC) is up $1.15 (1.4%) to $82.54 on average volume Thus far, 2.3 million shares of Marathon Petroleum exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3.6 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $80.75-$83.90 after having opened the day at $81.27 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $81.39.

Marathon Petroleum Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, engages in refining, transporting, and marketing petroleum products primarily in the United States. It operates through Refining & Marketing, Speedway, and Pipeline Transportation segments. Marathon Petroleum has a market cap of $28.3 billion and is part of the energy industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 8.6, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 29.2% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. 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.

Exclusive Offer: Jim Cramer's 'go-to' small/mid-cap guru Bryan Ashenberg only buys stocks he thinks could return 50-100%. See his top picks for 14-days FREE.

1. As of noon trading, Valero Energy Corporation ( VLO) is up $0.36 (0.9%) to $40.96 on average volume Thus far, 6.1 million shares of Valero Energy Corporation exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 10.6 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $39.80-$41.48 after having opened the day at $40.32 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $40.60.

Valero Energy Corporation operates as an independent petroleum refining and marketing company. The company operates through three segments: Refining, Ethanol, and Retail. Valero Energy Corporation has a market cap of $23.5 billion and is part of the energy industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 11.3, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 19.0% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 10 analysts that rate Valero Energy Corporation a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 5 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Valero Energy Corporation as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, growth in earnings per share, increase in net income, attractive valuation levels and good cash flow from operations. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat disappointing return on equity. Get the full Valero Energy Corporation Ratings Report now.

Exclusive Offer: Jim Cramer's 'go-to' small/mid-cap guru Bryan Ashenberg only buys stocks he thinks could return 50-100%. See his top picks for 14-days FREE.

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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