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

All three major indices are trading up today with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) trading up 64 points (0.4%) at 14,866 as of Thursday, April 11, 2013, 12:55 PM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,808 issues advancing vs. 1,100 declining with 140 unchanged.

The Basic Materials sector currently sits down 0.24 versus the S&P 500, which is up 0.4%. Top gainers within the sector include Occidental Petroleum Corporation ( OXY), up 3.7%, Southwestern Energy Company ( SWN), up 2.8%, PPG Industries ( PPG), up 2.3%, Total ( TOT), up 1.2% and Chevron ( CVX), up 0.9%. On the negative front, top decliners within the sector include Valero Energy Corporation ( VLO), down 4.12, HollyFrontier ( HFC), down 4.14, Marathon Petroleum ( MPC), down 3.72, Petroleo Brasileiro SA Petrobras ( PBR.A), down 1.89 and PetroChina ( PTR), down 0.97.

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

5. Barrick Gold Corporation ( ABX) is one of the companies pushing the Basic Materials sector higher today. As of noon trading, Barrick Gold Corporation is up $0.38 (1.53) to $24.84 on heavy volume Thus far, 15.0 million shares of Barrick Gold Corporation exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 10.2 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $24.30-$25.10 after having opened the day at $24.63 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $24.46.

Barrick Gold Corporation engages in the production and sale of gold and copper. It is also involved in exploration and mine development activities. Barrick Gold Corporation has a market cap of $26.7 billion and is part of the metals & mining industry. Shares are down 30.1% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

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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4. As of noon trading, Apache Corporation ( APA) is up $0.77 (1.02) to $76.40 on light volume Thus far, 1.2 million shares of Apache Corporation exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3.4 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $75.69-$76.78 after having opened the day at $75.89 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $75.63.

Apache Corporation, an independent energy company, explores for, develops, and produces natural gas, crude oil, and natural gas liquids. Apache Corporation has a market cap of $29.6 billion and is part of the energy industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 15.3, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 3.7% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Apache Corporation as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, attractive valuation levels and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including deteriorating net income, disappointing return on equity and weak operating cash flow. Get the full Apache Corporation Ratings Report now.

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3. As of noon trading, LyondellBasell Industries ( LYB) is up $0.94 (1.55) to $61.71 on light volume Thus far, 1.3 million shares of LyondellBasell Industries exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 4.4 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $60.55-$61.98 after having opened the day at $60.75 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $60.77.

LyondellBasell Industries N.V., together with its subsidiaries, manufacturers and sells chemicals and polymers; refines crude oil; produces gasoline blending components; and develops and licenses technologies for the production of polymers. LyondellBasell Industries has a market cap of $34.6 billion and is part of the chemicals industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 12.1, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 6.4% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates LyondellBasell Industries as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income, revenue growth and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins. Get the full LyondellBasell Industries Ratings Report now.

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2. As of noon trading, Monsanto Company ( MON) is up $1.02 (0.97) to $106.67 on light volume Thus far, 903,878 shares of Monsanto Company exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2.5 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $105.32-$106.95 after having opened the day at $105.67 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $105.65.

Monsanto Company, together with its subsidiaries, provides agricultural products for farmers worldwide. It operates in two segments, Seeds and Genomics, and Agricultural Productivity. Monsanto Company has a market cap of $56.2 billion and is part of the chemicals industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 22.5, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 11.6% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Monsanto Company 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, impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income and expanding profit margins. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow. Get the full Monsanto Company 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, E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Company ( DD) is up $0.61 (1.23) to $50.35 on average volume Thus far, 3.9 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 $49.76-$50.44 after having opened the day at $49.76 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $49.74.

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 $45.2 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 10.6% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

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.

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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