4 Stocks Boosting 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

All three major indices are trading up today with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) trading up 79 points (0.5%) at 15,295 as of Wednesday, May 15, 2013, 12:45 PM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,703 issues advancing vs. 1,237 declining with 128 unchanged.

The Basic Materials sector currently sits down 0.41 versus the S&P 500, which is up 0.6%. Top gainers within the sector include YPF Sociedad Anonima ( YPF), up 8.2%, Valero Energy Corporation ( VLO), up 2.9%, Marathon Petroleum ( MPC), up 2.6%, Phillips 66 ( PSX), up 1.9% and Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold ( FCX), up 1.6%. On the negative front, top decliners within the sector include Barrick Gold Corporation ( ABX), down 3.27, Apache Corporation ( APA), down 1.42, Canadian Natural Resources ( CNQ), down 1.39, Schlumberger ( SLB), down 1.17 and Total ( TOT), down 0.87.

TheStreet Ratings group would like to highlight 4 stocks pushing the sector higher today:

4. Eastman Chemical Company ( EMN) is one of the companies pushing the Basic Materials sector higher today. As of noon trading, Eastman Chemical Company is up $2.92 (4.33) to $70.36 on heavy volume Thus far, 1.9 million shares of Eastman Chemical Company exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1.7 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $67.19-$70.73 after having opened the day at $67.34 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $67.44.

Eastman Chemical Company, a specialty chemical company, engages in the manufacture and sale of chemicals, plastics, and fibers in the United States and internationally. Eastman Chemical Company has a market cap of $10.3 billion and is part of the chemicals industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 19.8, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 0.9% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 9 analysts that rate Eastman Chemical Company a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 5 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Eastman Chemical Company as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, attractive valuation levels, solid stock price performance, increase in net income and growth in earnings per share. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow. Get the full Eastman Chemical Company Ratings Report now.

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3. As of noon trading, Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan ( POT) is up $0.71 (1.65) to $43.79 on heavy volume Thus far, 3.3 million shares of Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 4.0 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $42.97-$43.81 after having opened the day at $43.09 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $43.08.

Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan Inc., together with its subsidiaries, produces and sells fertilizers and related industrial and feed products primarily in the United States and Canada. The company mines and produces potash, which is used as fertilizer. Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan has a market cap of $37.1 billion and is part of the chemicals industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 17.6, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 5.9% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 11 analysts that rate Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan a buy, 2 analysts rate it a sell, and 7 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, good cash flow from operations, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, expanding profit margins and growth in earnings per share. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself. Get the full Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan Ratings Report now.

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2. As of noon trading, Dow Chemical ( DOW) is up $0.67 (1.92) to $35.60 on average volume Thus far, 4.7 million shares of Dow Chemical exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 7.8 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $34.77-$35.75 after having opened the day at $34.81 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $34.93.

The Dow Chemical Company manufactures and supplies chemical products used as raw materials in the manufacture of customer products and services worldwide. Dow Chemical has a market cap of $41.5 billion and is part of the chemicals industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 41.9, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 8.0% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 2 analysts that rate Dow Chemical a buy, 4 analysts rate it a sell, and 13 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Dow Chemical as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its good cash flow from operations, growth in earnings per share, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and increase in net income. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself. Get the full Dow Chemical Ratings Report now.

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1. As of noon trading, E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Company ( DD) is up $0.35 (0.64) to $55.51 on light volume Thus far, 1.8 million shares of E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Company exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 6.9 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $54.97-$55.64 after having opened the day at $55.01 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $55.16.

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 $50.1 billion and is part of the chemicals industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 20.9, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 22.6% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. 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.

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 4 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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