5 Stocks Driving The Basic Materials Sector Higher

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 3 points (0.0%) at 14,544 as of Monday, April 22, 2013, 12:50 PM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,423 issues advancing vs. 1,490 declining with 125 unchanged.

The Basic Materials sector currently sits up 0.1% versus the S&P 500, which is up 0.3%. Top gainers within the sector include Halliburton Company ( HAL), up 4.6%, Randgold Resources ( GOLD), up 4.0%, Marathon Petroleum ( MPC), up 1.9%, LyondellBasell Industries ( LYB), up 1.8% and Goldcorp ( GG), up 1.8%. A company within the sector that fell today was Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold ( FCX), up 0.85.

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

5. Anadarko Petroleum ( APC) is one of the companies pushing the Basic Materials sector higher today. As of noon trading, Anadarko Petroleum is up $0.66 (0.83) to $80.65 on light volume Thus far, 1.2 million shares of Anadarko Petroleum exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3.4 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $79.25-$80.74 after having opened the day at $80.27 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $79.99.

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 $41.0 billion and is part of the energy industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 17.0, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 7.6% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday.

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, increase in stock price during the past year, good cash flow from operations, expanding profit margins and impressive record of earnings per share growth. Although no company is perfect, currently we do not see any significant weaknesses which are likely to detract from the generally positive outlook. Get the full Anadarko Petroleum Ratings Report now.

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4. As of noon trading, Hess ( HES) is up $0.82 (1.23) to $67.60 on heavy volume Thus far, 3.7 million shares of Hess exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 4.3 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $66.78-$68.37 after having opened the day at $67.72 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $66.78.

Hess Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, operates as an independent energy company worldwide. It operates in two segments, Exploration and Production (E&P), and Marketing and Refining (M&R). Hess has a market cap of $23.0 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 26.1% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Hess 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, attractive valuation levels and good cash flow from operations. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins. Get the full Hess Ratings Report now.

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3. As of noon trading, E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Company ( DD) is up $1.01 (2.04) to $50.20 on heavy volume Thus far, 6.4 million shares of E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Company exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 6.0 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $49.28-$50.45 after having opened the day at $49.41 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $49.19.

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 $44.7 billion and is part of the chemicals industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 18.6, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 9.4% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday.

TheStreet Ratings rates E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Company as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its 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 E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Company Ratings Report now.

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2. As of noon trading, Valero Energy Corporation ( VLO) is up $0.70 (1.78) to $39.94 on average volume Thus far, 4.8 million shares of Valero Energy Corporation exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 10.9 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $38.64-$40.30 after having opened the day at $39.45 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $39.24.

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 $21.4 billion and is part of the energy industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 10.3, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 13.4% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday.

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.

1. As of noon trading, Exxon Mobil Corporation ( XOM) is up $0.47 (0.54) to $87.92 on light volume Thus far, 4.3 million shares of Exxon Mobil Corporation exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 12.9 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $87.28-$88.00 after having opened the day at $87.61 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $87.45.

Exxon Mobil Corporation engages in the exploration and production of crude oil and natural gas, and manufacture of petroleum products. The company also transports and sells crude oil, natural gas, and petroleum products. It has approximately 37,228 gross and 31,264 net operated wells. Exxon Mobil Corporation has a market cap of $387.2 billion and is part of the energy industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 8.9, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 1.0% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Exxon Mobil Corporation as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its increase in net income, notable return on equity, attractive valuation levels, 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 shows low profit margins. Get the full Exxon Mobil 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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