3 Basic Materials Stocks Driving 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

One out of the three major indices are trading up today with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) trading down 30 points (-0.2%) at 15,089 as of Monday, May 13, 2013, 12:50 PM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,245 issues advancing vs. 1,704 declining with 112 unchanged.

The Basic Materials sector currently sits down 0.52 versus the S&P 500, which is unchanged. On the negative front, top decliners within the sector include Mosaic ( MOS), down 3.46, Encana ( ECA), down 3.09, Teck Resources ( TCK), down 2.78, Goldcorp ( GG), down 2.29 and PetroChina ( PTR), down 1.68.

TheStreet Ratings group would like to highlight 3 stocks pushing the sector higher today:

3. Spectra Energy ( SE) is one of the companies pushing the Basic Materials sector higher today. As of noon trading, Spectra Energy is up $0.33 (1.07) to $31.12 on light volume Thus far, 1.3 million shares of Spectra Energy exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 4.4 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $30.63-$31.12 after having opened the day at $30.80 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $30.79.

Spectra Energy Corp, through its subsidiaries, owns and operates a portfolio of natural gas-related energy assets in North America. The company's U.S. Spectra Energy has a market cap of $20.6 billion and is part of the energy industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 21.5, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 12.4% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are 4 analysts that rate Spectra Energy a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 5 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Spectra Energy as a buy. Among the primary strengths of the company is its expanding profit margins over time. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income. Get the full Spectra Energy Ratings Report now.

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2. As of noon trading, LyondellBasell Industries ( LYB) is up $0.56 (0.90) to $62.10 on average volume Thus far, 3.2 million shares of LyondellBasell Industries exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 4.5 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $61.34-$62.78 after having opened the day at $62.50 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $61.55.

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 $35.4 billion and is part of the chemicals industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 11.2, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 7.8% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are 12 analysts that rate LyondellBasell Industries a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 2 rate it a hold.

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, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, notable return on equity and attractive valuation levels. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow. Get the full LyondellBasell Industries Ratings Report now.

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1. As of noon trading, Occidental Petroleum Corporation ( OXY) is up $0.64 (0.72) to $89.81 on light volume Thus far, 2.2 million shares of Occidental Petroleum Corporation exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 5.9 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $88.85-$89.94 after having opened the day at $89.05 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $89.17.

Occidental Petroleum Corporation engages in the exploration and production of oil and gas properties in the United States and internationally. The company operates in three segments: Oil and Gas; Chemical; and Midstream, Marketing and Other. Occidental Petroleum Corporation has a market cap of $71.1 billion and is part of the energy industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 16.1, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 15.1% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are 13 analysts that rate Occidental Petroleum Corporation a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 5 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Occidental Petroleum Corporation as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its expanding profit margins and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income. Get the full Occidental Petroleum 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 3 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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