5 Basic Materials Stocks Nudging The 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

Two out of the three major indices are trading up today with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) trading up 60 points (0.4%) at 15,029 as of Tuesday, May 7, 2013, 12:54 PM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,907 issues advancing vs. 994 declining with 159 unchanged.

The Basic Materials sector currently sits down 0.16 versus the S&P 500, which is up 0.3%. Top gainers within the sector include EOG Resources ( EOG), up 7.8%, Continental Resources ( CLR), up 2.9%, Pioneer Natural Resources Company ( PXD), up 2.9%, PetroChina ( PTR), up 2.4% and Noble Energy ( NBL), up 2.3%. On the negative front, top decliners within the sector include Barrick Gold Corporation ( ABX), down 3.49, Silver Wheaton Corporation ( SLW), down 3.33 and Southern Copper Corporation ( SCCO), down 1.80.

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

5. Vale ( VALE) is one of the companies pushing the Basic Materials sector higher today. As of noon trading, Vale is up $0.34 (2.02) to $17.15 on average volume Thus far, 7.6 million shares of Vale exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 18.8 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $16.87-$17.18 after having opened the day at $16.95 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $16.81.

Vale S.A. engages in the research, production, and marketing of iron ore and pellets, nickel, fertilizers, copper, coal, manganese, ferroalloys, cobalt, platinum group metals, and precious metals in Brazil and internationally. Vale has a market cap of $86.8 billion and is part of the metals & mining industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 15.7, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 19.8% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are 4 analysts that rate Vale a buy, 2 analysts rate it a sell, and 6 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Vale as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and expanding profit margins. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself, deteriorating net income and weak operating cash flow. Get the full Vale Ratings Report now.

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4. As of noon trading, E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Company ( DD) is up $0.67 (1.24) to $54.56 on average volume Thus far, 2.7 million shares of E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Company exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 6.4 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $54.00-$54.72 after having opened the day at $54.01 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $53.89.

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 $49.6 billion and is part of the chemicals industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 20.7, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 19.8% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are 7 analysts that rate E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Company a buy, 2 analysts rate it a sell, and 9 rate it a hold.

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 revenue 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 E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Company Ratings Report now.

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3. As of noon trading, ConocoPhillips ( COP) is up $0.48 (0.76) to $62.70 on light volume Thus far, 2.6 million shares of ConocoPhillips exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 7.1 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $62.26-$62.82 after having opened the day at $62.38 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $62.22.

ConocoPhillips explores for, produces, transports, and markets crude oil, bitumen, natural gas, liquefied natural gas, and natural gas liquids on a worldwide basis. ConocoPhillips has a market cap of $75.7 billion and is part of the energy industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 10.5, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 7.3% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are 7 analysts that rate ConocoPhillips a buy, 4 analysts rate it a sell, and 6 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates ConocoPhillips as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its attractive valuation levels, expanding profit margins, good cash flow from operations, notable return on equity and increase in stock price during the past year. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income. Get the full ConocoPhillips Ratings Report now.

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2. As of noon trading, Valero Energy Corporation ( VLO) is up $0.77 (2.01) to $39.15 on average volume Thus far, 5.5 million shares of Valero Energy Corporation exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 11.5 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $38.34-$39.23 after having opened the day at $38.90 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $38.38.

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 $20.8 billion and is part of the energy industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 6.2, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 12.5% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are 9 analysts that rate Valero Energy Corporation a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 6 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, impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and attractive valuation levels. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins. Get the full Valero Energy Corporation Ratings Report now.

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1. As of noon trading, Schlumberger ( SLB) is up $0.53 (0.70) to $76.69 on average volume Thus far, 2.8 million shares of Schlumberger exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 6.6 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $76.41-$77.45 after having opened the day at $76.82 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $76.16.

Schlumberger Limited, together with its subsidiaries, engages in the supply of technology, integrated project management, and information solutions to oil and gas exploration and production industries worldwide. Schlumberger has a market cap of $100.7 billion and is part of the energy industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 18.7, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 9.9% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are 23 analysts that rate Schlumberger a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 3 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Schlumberger as a hold. 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 and good cash flow from operations. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including unimpressive growth in net income, poor profit margins and disappointing return on equity. Get the full Schlumberger 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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