5 Basic Materials Stocks Moving The Sector Upward

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 up today with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) trading down 31 points (-0.2%) at 14,506 as of Friday, April 19, 2013, 12:55 PM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 2,094 issues advancing vs. 778 declining with 149 unchanged.

The Basic Materials sector currently sits up 0.2% versus the S&P 500, which is up 0.7%. Top gainers within the sector include LyondellBasell Industries ( LYB), up 3.0%, Petroleo Brasileiro SA Petrobras ( PBR.A), up 3.1%, Energy Transfer Equity ( ETE), up 2.5%, Sherwin-Williams Company ( SHW), up 2.3% and Plains All American Pipeline ( PAA), up 2.0%. On the negative front, top decliners within the sector include Peabody Energy Corporation ( BTU), down 6.55, Apache Corporation ( APA), down 2.46, Devon Energy ( DVN), down 2.66, Suncor Energy ( SU), down 1.67 and Schlumberger ( SLB), down 1.31.

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

5. Celanese Corporation ( CE) is one of the companies pushing the Basic Materials sector higher today. As of noon trading, Celanese Corporation is up $4.16 (9.85) to $46.39 on heavy volume Thus far, 3.5 million shares of Celanese Corporation exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1.4 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $46.08-$49.18 after having opened the day at $48.18 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $42.23.

Celanese Corporation engages in manufacture and sale of value-added chemicals, thermoplastic polymers, and other chemical-based products. The company operates in four segments: Advanced Engineered Materials, Consumer Specialties, Industrial Specialties, and Acetyl Intermediates. Celanese Corporation has a market cap of $6.8 billion and is part of the chemicals industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 11.1, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 5.2% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Celanese Corporation as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its notable return on equity and increase in stock price during the past year. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow. Get the full Celanese Corporation Ratings Report now.

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4. As of noon trading, Eastman Chemical Company ( EMN) is up $4.13 (6.22) to $70.48 on heavy volume Thus far, 2.0 million shares of Eastman Chemical Company exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1.5 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $67.36-$70.85 after having opened the day at $68.12 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $66.35.

Eastman Chemical Company, a specialty chemical company, engages in the manufacture and sale of chemicals, plastics, and fibers in the United States and internationally. Eastman Chemical Company has a market cap of $10.4 billion and is part of the chemicals industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 22.9, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 2.5% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Eastman Chemical Company as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, good cash flow from operations and solid stock price performance. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income. Get the full Eastman Chemical Company Ratings Report now.

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3. As of noon trading, Dow Chemical ( DOW) is up $0.34 (1.13) to $30.52 on average volume Thus far, 3.7 million shares of Dow Chemical exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 8.0 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $30.35-$30.69 after having opened the day at $30.40 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $30.18.

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 $36.6 billion and is part of the chemicals industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 43.3, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 6.6% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

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, Petroleo Brasileiro SA Petrobras ( PBR) is up $0.54 (3.39) to $16.36 on average volume Thus far, 10.4 million shares of Petroleo Brasileiro SA Petrobras exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 17.3 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $16.17-$16.54 after having opened the day at $16.48 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $15.82.

Petroleo Brasileiro S.A. operates as an integrated oil and gas company in Brazil and internationally. Petroleo Brasileiro SA Petrobras has a market cap of $100.8 billion and is part of the energy industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 5.0, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 18.7% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Petroleo Brasileiro SA Petrobras as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its increase in net income, attractive valuation levels and growth in earnings per share. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including disappointing return on equity, weak operating cash flow and poor profit margins. Get the full Petroleo Brasileiro SA Petrobras Ratings Report now.

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1. As of noon trading, Marathon Petroleum ( MPC) is up $1.42 (1.84) to $78.41 on average volume Thus far, 1.6 million shares of Marathon Petroleum exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3.7 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $76.78-$78.50 after having opened the day at $77.41 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $76.99.

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 $25.3 billion and is part of the energy industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 7.7, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 22.2% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

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.

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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