Valero Energy Corporation (VLO): Today's Featured Basic Materials Winner

Valero Energy Corporation ( VLO) pushed the Basic Materials sector higher today making it today's featured basic materials winner. The sector as a whole closed the day up 0.5%. By the end of trading, Valero Energy Corporation rose $0.68 (2.0%) to $34.53 on average volume. Throughout the day, 7,070,643 shares of Valero Energy Corporation exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 8,741,600 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $34.00-$34.73 after having opened the day at $34.06 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $33.85. Other companies within the Basic Materials sector that increased today were: Crosshair Energy ( CXZ), up 44.8%, Kimber Resources ( KBX), up 26.3%, Lone Pine Resources ( LPR), up 23.3% and Lucas Energy ( LEI), up 14.1%.

Valero Energy Corporation operates as an independent petroleum refining and marketing company. The company operates through three segments: Refining, Ethanol, and Retail. Valero Energy Corporation has a market cap of $18.4 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are down 0.8% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are 9 analysts that rate Valero Energy Corporation a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 5 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Valero Energy Corporation 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, compelling growth in net income, attractive valuation levels and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow.

On the negative front, Sibanye Gold Ltd ADR ( SBGL), down 51.0%, USEC ( USU), down 13.2%, Alderon Iron Ore ( AXX), down 11.5% and Cardero Resources Corporation ( CDY), down 11.4% , were all laggards within the basic materials sector with Goldcorp ( GG) 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).

3x UPSIDE POTENTIAL: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12-months. Learn more.

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