Phillips 66 (PSX): Today's Featured Basic Materials Laggard

Phillips 66 ( PSX) pushed the Basic Materials sector lower today making it today's featured Basic Materials laggard. The sector as a whole closed the day up 0.4%. By the end of trading, Phillips 66 fell $2.42 (-4.1%) to $56.09 on average volume. Throughout the day, 5,802,506 shares of Phillips 66 exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 4,049,800 shares. The stock ranged in price between $55.94-$58.63 after having opened the day at $58.41 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $58.51. Other companies within the Basic Materials sector that declined today were: Sibanye Gold Ltd ADR ( SBGL), down 45.6%, Crosshair Energy ( CXZ), down 21.9%, Lone Pine Resources ( LPR), down 10.7% and Lake Shore Gold ( LSG), down 8.3%.

Phillips 66 operates as an independent downstream energy company. The company operates in three segments: Refining and Marketing (R&M), Midstream, and Chemicals. Phillips 66 has a market cap of $36.4 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are up 10.6% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 8 analysts that rate Phillips 66 a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 4 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Phillips 66 as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, impressive record of earnings per share growth and compelling growth in net income. However, as a counter to these strengths, we find that the company's profit margins have been poor overall.

On the positive front, China Gengsheng Minerals ( CHGS), up 22.2%, Ossen Innovation ( OSN), up 20.0%, Quest Rare Minerals ( QRM), up 18.0% and Molycorp ( MCP), up 16.1% , were all gainers within the basic materials sector with Royal Dutch Shell ( RDS.A) being today's featured basic materials sector leader.

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).

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12-months. Learn more.

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