MON, NOV, ABX, FCX And CVX, 5 Basic Materials Stocks Pushing The Sector Lower

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 lower 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 5 stocks pushing the sector lower today:

5. Monsanto Company ( MON) is one of the companies pushing the Basic Materials sector lower today. As of noon trading, Monsanto Company is down $0.81 (-0.8%) to $107.31 on light volume Thus far, 879,688 shares of Monsanto Company exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2.4 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $106.85-$108.01 after having opened the day at $107.79 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $108.12.

Monsanto Company, together with its subsidiaries, provides agricultural products for farmers worldwide. It operates in two segments, Seeds and Genomics, and Agricultural Productivity. Monsanto Company has a market cap of $57.4 billion and is part of the chemicals industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 23.0, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 14.2% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Monsanto Company as a buy. 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, solid stock price performance, impressive record of earnings per share growth and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow. Get the full Monsanto Company Ratings Report now.

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4. As of noon trading, National Oilwell Varco ( NOV) is down $0.95 (-1.4%) to $67.27 on average volume Thus far, 2.4 million shares of National Oilwell Varco exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3.9 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $66.75-$67.99 after having opened the day at $67.83 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $68.22.

National Oilwell Varco, Inc. provides equipment and components for oil and gas drilling and production; oilfield services; and supply chain integration services to the upstream oil and gas industry worldwide. National Oilwell Varco has a market cap of $29.2 billion and is part of the energy industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 12.2, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 0.2% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday.

TheStreet Ratings rates National Oilwell Varco as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, 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 has had sub par growth in net income. Get the full National Oilwell Varco Ratings Report now.

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3. As of noon trading, Barrick Gold Corporation ( ABX) is down $0.56 (-2.7%) to $20.32 on average volume Thus far, 6.7 million shares of Barrick Gold Corporation exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 17.4 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $20.25-$20.67 after having opened the day at $20.58 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $20.88.

Barrick Gold Corporation engages in the production and sale of gold and copper. It is also involved in exploration and mine development activities. Barrick Gold Corporation has a market cap of $20.9 billion and is part of the metals & mining industry. Shares are down 40.3% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Barrick Gold Corporation as a hold. 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. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including feeble growth in the company's earnings per share, disappointing return on equity and weak operating cash flow. Get the full Barrick Gold Corporation Ratings Report now.

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2. As of noon trading, Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold ( FCX) is down $0.68 (-2.1%) to $31.87 on average volume Thus far, 7.3 million shares of Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 17.2 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $31.68-$32.40 after having opened the day at $32.40 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $32.55.

Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc. engages in the exploration of mineral resource properties. The company primarily explores for copper, gold, molybdenum, cobalt, silver, and other metals, such as rhenium and magnetite. Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold has a market cap of $31.0 billion and is part of the metals & mining industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 10.6, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 4.6% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its attractive valuation levels, good cash flow from operations and expanding profit margins. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself and feeble growth in the company's earnings per share. Get the full Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Ratings Report now.

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1. As of noon trading, Chevron ( CVX) is down $1.01 (-0.8%) to $122.22 on average volume Thus far, 2.7 million shares of Chevron exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 5.7 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $122.17-$123.10 after having opened the day at $122.92 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $123.23.

Chevron Corporation, through its subsidiaries, engages in petroleum, chemicals, mining, power generation, and energy operations worldwide. The company operates in two segments, Upstream and Downstream. Chevron has a market cap of $239.7 billion and is part of the energy industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 9.3, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 14.3% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Chevron as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its attractive valuation levels 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 Chevron 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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