Halliburton Company (HAL): Today's Featured Basic Materials Winner

Halliburton Company ( HAL) pushed the Basic Materials sector higher today making it today's featured basic materials winner. The sector as a whole closed the day up 1.1%. By the end of trading, Halliburton Company rose $0.73 (1.8%) to $42.45 on average volume. Throughout the day, 8,607,212 shares of Halliburton Company exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 10,657,000 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $41.86-$42.62 after having opened the day at $42.03 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $41.72. Other companies within the Basic Materials sector that increased today were: Minco Gold Corporation ( MGH), up 30.0%, Prospect Global Resources ( PGRX), up 17.7%, Alexco Resource ( AXU), up 15.2% and Claude Resources ( CGR), up 14.8%.

Halliburton Company provides a range of services and products for the exploration, development, and production of oil and natural gas. The company operates in two segments, Completion and Production, and Drilling and Evaluation. Halliburton Company has a market cap of $39.0 billion and is part of the energy 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 20.3% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are 20 analysts that rate Halliburton Company a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 3 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Halliburton Company as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, revenue growth 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.

On the negative front, HyperDynamics Corporation ( HDY), down 88.9%, Ossen Innovation ( OSN), down 13.8%, Rare Element Resources ( REE), down 7.1% and Tengasco ( TGC), down 6.8% , were all laggards within the basic materials sector with Western Refining ( WNR) being today's basic materials sector laggard.

For investors not wanting singular stock exposure, 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).

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