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Tesoro Corporation ( TSO) pushed the Basic Materials sector lower today making it today's featured Basic Materials laggard. The sector as a whole closed the day up 0.6%. By the end of trading, Tesoro Corporation fell $2.00 (-3.8%) to $51.10 on average volume. Throughout the day, 3,817,911 shares of Tesoro Corporation exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3,699,100 shares. The stock ranged in price between $50.86-$53.93 after having opened the day at $53.12 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $53.10. Other companies within the Basic Materials sector that declined today were: Crosshair Energy ( CXZ), down 22.8%, Kimber Resources ( KBX), down 14.6%, Methes Energies International ( MEIL), down 13.5% and Sherwin-Williams Company ( SHW), down 8.3%.

Tesoro Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, engages in refining and marketing petroleum products in the United States. It operates in two segments, Refining and Retail. Tesoro Corporation has a market cap of $7.1 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are up 20.5% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 9 analysts that rate Tesoro Corporation a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 4 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Tesoro Corporation 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 compelling growth in net income. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins.

On the positive front, Pacific Booker Minerals ( PBM), up 16.0%, James River Coal Company ( JRCC), up 12.5%, Aegean Marine Petroleum Network ( ANW), up 11.4% and Walter Energy ( WLT), up 8.8% , were all gainers within the basic materials sector with Apache Corporation ( APA) 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).

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