5 Stocks Improving Performance Of The Basic Materials Sector

Editor's Note: Any reference to TheStreet Ratings and its underlying recommendation does not reflect the opinion of TheStreet, Inc. or any of its contributors including Jim Cramer or Stephanie Link.

Two out of the three major indices are trading lower today with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) trading up 26 points (0.2%) at 15,572 as of Tuesday, July 23, 2013, 12:50 PM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,636 issues advancing vs. 1,285 declining with 117 unchanged.

The Basic Materials sector currently sits up 0.6% versus the S&P 500, which is down 0.1%. Top gainers within the sector include Gerdau ( GGB), up 2.9%, Phillips 66 ( PSX), up 2.9%, Marathon Petroleum ( MPC), up 3.0%, POSCO ( PKX), up 2.8% and Air Products & Chemicals ( APD), up 2.5%. On the negative front, top decliners within the sector include Plains All American Pipeline ( PAA), down 1.4%, National Oilwell Varco ( NOV), down 1.0%, EOG Resources ( EOG), down 0.8% and Kinder Morgan ( KMI), down 0.8%.

TheStreet would like to highlight 5 stocks pushing the sector higher today:

5. Southern Copper Corporation ( SCCO) is one of the companies pushing the Basic Materials sector higher today. As of noon trading, Southern Copper Corporation is up $0.49 (1.7%) to $29.14 on average volume. Thus far, 966,408 shares of Southern Copper Corporation exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1.8 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $28.58-$29.14 after having opened the day at $28.86 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $28.65.

Southern Copper Corporation engages in mining, exploring, producing, smelting, and refining copper and other minerals in Peru, Mexico, and Chile. Southern Copper Corporation has a market cap of $23.6 billion and is part of the metals & mining industry. Shares are down 26.2% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are 2 analysts that rate Southern Copper Corporation a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 6 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Southern Copper Corporation as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its expanding profit margins, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat weak growth in earnings per share. Get the full Southern Copper Corporation Ratings Report now.

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

4. As of noon trading, ArcelorMittal ( MT) is up $0.28 (2.2%) to $13.00 on average volume. Thus far, 3.6 million shares of ArcelorMittal exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 6.1 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $12.92-$13.04 after having opened the day at $13.02 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $12.72.

ArcelorMittal, together with its subsidiaries, operates as an integrated steel and mining company worldwide. The company operates through six segments: Flat Carbon Americas; Flat Carbon Europe; Long Carbon Americas and Europe; Asia, Africa, and CIS; Distribution Solutions; and Mining. ArcelorMittal has a market cap of $19.9 billion and is part of the metals & mining industry. Shares are down 27.2% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are 4 analysts that rate ArcelorMittal a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 2 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates ArcelorMittal as a hold. The company's strongest point has been its a solid financial position based on a variety of debt and liquidity measures that we have looked at. At the same time, however, we also find weaknesses including deteriorating net income, disappointing return on equity and poor profit margins. Get the full ArcelorMittal Ratings Report now.

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

3. As of noon trading, Vale ( VALE) is up $0.25 (1.8%) to $14.36 on average volume. Thus far, 7.3 million shares of Vale exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 17.9 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $14.35-$14.50 after having opened the day at $14.43 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $14.11.

Vale S.A. engages in the research, production, and marketing of iron ore and pellets, nickel, fertilizers, copper, coal, manganese, ferroalloys, cobalt, platinum group metals, and precious metals in Brazil and internationally. Vale has a market cap of $71.2 billion and is part of the metals & mining industry. Shares are down 32.7% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are 5 analysts that rate Vale a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 5 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Vale as a hold. 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 and attractive valuation levels. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself, disappointing return on equity and feeble growth in the company's earnings per share. Get the full Vale Ratings Report now.

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

2. As of noon trading, Barrick Gold Corporation ( ABX) is up $0.34 (1.9%) to $17.90 on average volume. Thus far, 10.7 million shares of Barrick Gold Corporation exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 19.6 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $17.37-$18.00 after having opened the day at $17.58 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $17.56.

Barrick Gold Corporation engages in the production and sale of gold and copper. It is also involved in exploration and mine development activities. Barrick Gold Corporation has a market cap of $16.6 billion and is part of the metals & mining industry. Shares are down 52.8% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are 3 analysts that rate Barrick Gold Corporation a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 17 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Barrick Gold Corporation as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its expanding profit margins and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including feeble growth in the company's earnings per share, disappointing return on equity and weak operating cash flow. Get the full Barrick Gold Corporation Ratings Report now.

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

1. As of noon trading, Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold ( FCX) is up $0.70 (2.4%) to $29.85 on average volume. Thus far, 12.3 million shares of Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 17.6 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $29.41-$30.14 after having opened the day at $29.64 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $29.15.

Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc. engages in the exploration of mineral resource properties. The company primarily explores for copper, gold, molybdenum, cobalt, silver, and other metals, such as rhenium and magnetite. Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold has a market cap of $27.1 billion and is part of the metals & mining industry. Shares are down 14.8% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are 11 analysts that rate Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 4 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its good cash flow from operations, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and expanding profit margins. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including feeble growth in the company's earnings per share and a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself. Get the full Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Ratings Report now.

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

If you are interested in one of these 5 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).
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