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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