5 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

Two out of the three major indices are trading up 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%. 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%. 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%.

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

5. Marathon Oil ( MRO) is one of the companies pushing the Basic Materials sector lower today. As of noon trading, Marathon Oil is down $0.60 (-1.8%) to $32.59 on average volume Thus far, 2.7 million shares of Marathon Oil exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 5.0 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $32.42-$33.15 after having opened the day at $33.11 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $33.19.

Marathon Oil Corporation operates as an energy company worldwide. Marathon Oil has a market cap of $23.8 billion and is part of the energy industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 15.1, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 8.3% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 11 analysts that rate Marathon Oil a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 6 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Marathon Oil as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, attractive valuation levels, expanding profit margins, good cash flow from operations and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income. Get the full Marathon Oil Ratings Report now.

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4. As of noon trading, Royal Dutch Shell ( RDS.A) is down $0.58 (-0.9%) to $64.13 on average volume Thus far, 2.0 million shares of Royal Dutch Shell exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2.8 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $64.05-$64.50 after having opened the day at $64.29 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $64.71.

Royal Dutch Shell plc operates as an independent oil and gas company worldwide. The company explores for and extracts crude oil, natural gas, and natural gas liquids. Royal Dutch Shell has a market cap of $204.9 billion and is part of the energy industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 8.2, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 6.1% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Royal Dutch Shell as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, attractive valuation levels, good cash flow from operations, increase in net income and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself. Get the full Royal Dutch Shell Ratings Report now.

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3. As of noon trading, Pioneer Natural Resources Company ( PXD) is down $2.86 (-2.4%) to $118.07 on light volume Thus far, 593,869 shares of Pioneer Natural Resources Company exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1.8 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $117.92-$120.81 after having opened the day at $120.31 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $120.93.

Pioneer Natural Resources Company operates as an independent oil and gas exploration and production company in the United States and South Africa. The company produces and sells oil, natural gas liquid (NGL), and gas. Pioneer Natural Resources Company has a market cap of $15.2 billion and is part of the energy industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 115.4, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 13.5% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 15 analysts that rate Pioneer Natural Resources Company a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 9 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Pioneer Natural Resources Company as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, increase in net income and solid stock price performance. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat disappointing return on equity. Get the full Pioneer Natural Resources Company Ratings Report now.

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2. As of noon trading, Anadarko Petroleum ( APC) is down $0.56 (-0.7%) to $83.46 on light volume Thus far, 977,510 shares of Anadarko Petroleum exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3.3 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $83.25-$84.32 after having opened the day at $83.90 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $84.02.

Anadarko Petroleum Corporation engages in the exploration, development, production, and marketing of natural gas, crude oil, condensate, and natural gas liquids (NGLs) in the United States and internationally. Anadarko Petroleum has a market cap of $43.5 billion and is part of the energy industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 18.1, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 13.1% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 21 analysts that rate Anadarko Petroleum a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 3 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Anadarko Petroleum as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its compelling growth in net income, solid stock price performance, good cash flow from operations, expanding profit margins and impressive record of earnings per share growth. Although the company may harbor some minor weaknesses, we feel they are unlikely to have a significant impact on results. Get the full Anadarko Petroleum Ratings Report now.

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1. As of noon trading, BP ( BP) is down $0.58 (-1.4%) to $41.32 on average volume Thus far, 4.0 million shares of BP exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 7.1 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $41.20-$41.61 after having opened the day at $41.45 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $41.90.

BP p.l.c. provides fuel for transportation, energy for heat and light, lubricants to engines, and petrochemicals products. BP has a market cap of $134.4 billion and is part of the energy industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 421.4, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 0.6% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 7 analysts that rate BP a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 6 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates BP as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, attractive valuation levels and good cash flow from operations. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including deteriorating net income, disappointing return on equity and poor profit margins. Get the full BP 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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