5 Basic Materials Stocks Driving The Sector Higher

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 up today with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) trading up 3 points (0.0%) at 15,545 as of Thursday, July 25, 2013, 12:49 PM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,346 issues advancing vs. 1,602 declining with 83 unchanged.

The Basic Materials sector currently sits up 0.5% versus the S&P 500, which is unchanged. Top gainers within the sector include Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation ( COG), up 7.1%, Range Resources Corporation ( RRC), up 5.5%, Consol Energy ( CNX), up 5.6%, Air Products & Chemicals ( APD), up 5.1% and Southwestern Energy Company ( SWN), up 4.6%. On the negative front, top decliners within the sector include PetroLogistics ( PDH), down 8.6%, Cameron International Corporation ( CAM), down 6.3%, Newfield Exploration Company ( NFX), down 5.3%, Diamond Offshore Drilling ( DO), down 4.2% and Seadrill ( SDRL), down 1.8%.

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

5. Praxair ( PX) is one of the companies pushing the Basic Materials sector higher today. As of noon trading, Praxair is up $0.78 (0.7%) to $118.84 on heavy volume. Thus far, 1.2 million shares of Praxair exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1.2 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $117.23-$119.14 after having opened the day at $117.76 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $118.06.

Praxair, Inc. engages in the production, distribution, and sale atmospheric and process gases, as well as surface coatings in North America, Europe, South America, and Asia. Praxair has a market cap of $34.6 billion and is part of the chemicals industry. Shares are up 6.9% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 12 analysts that rate Praxair a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 5 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Praxair as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, good cash flow from operations, expanding profit margins, increase in stock price during the past year and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income. Get the full Praxair 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, Dow Chemical ( DOW) is up $0.58 (1.7%) to $34.95 on average volume. Thus far, 4.1 million shares of Dow Chemical exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 6.2 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $34.65-$35.04 after having opened the day at $34.95 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $34.37.

The Dow Chemical Company manufactures and supplies chemical products for use as raw materials worldwide. Dow Chemical has a market cap of $41.8 billion and is part of the chemicals industry. Shares are up 6.9% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 2 analysts that rate Dow Chemical a buy, 4 analysts rate it a sell, and 13 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Dow Chemical as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its good cash flow from operations, growth in earnings per share, increase in net income, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and increase in stock price during the past year. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat disappointing return on equity. Get the full Dow Chemical 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, Hess ( HES) is up $0.59 (0.8%) to $73.22 on light volume. Thus far, 958,331 shares of Hess exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3.1 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $72.23-$73.40 after having opened the day at $72.23 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $72.63.

Hess Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, operates as an independent energy company worldwide. It operates in two segments, Exploration and Production (E&P), and Marketing and Refining (M&R). Hess has a market cap of $25.2 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are up 38.7% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 9 analysts that rate Hess a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 5 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Hess as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, solid stock price performance, impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income and attractive valuation levels. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow. Get the full Hess 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, Newmont Mining Corporation ( NEM) is up $0.68 (2.3%) to $30.29 on average volume. Thus far, 4.0 million shares of Newmont Mining Corporation exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 8.8 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $29.26-$30.72 after having opened the day at $29.34 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $29.61.

Newmont Mining Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, engages in the acquisition, exploration, and production of gold and copper properties. The company's assets or operations are located in the United States, Australia, Peru, Indonesia, Ghana, Mexico, and New Zealand. Newmont Mining Corporation has a market cap of $15.3 billion and is part of the metals & mining industry. Shares are down 32.9% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 5 analysts that rate Newmont Mining Corporation a buy, 3 analysts rate it a sell, and 9 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Newmont Mining Corporation as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its reasonable valuation levels, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and notable return on equity. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including weak operating cash flow, a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself and feeble growth in the company's earnings per share. Get the full Newmont Mining 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, LyondellBasell Industries ( LYB) is up $0.48 (0.7%) to $67.90 on light volume. Thus far, 855,957 shares of LyondellBasell Industries exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 4.2 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $67.39-$68.28 after having opened the day at $67.41 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $67.42.

LyondellBasell Industries N.V., together with its subsidiaries, manufacturers and sells chemicals and polymers; refines crude oil; produces gasoline blending components; and develops and licenses technologies for the production of polymers. LyondellBasell Industries has a market cap of $39.1 billion and is part of the chemicals industry. Shares are up 18.9% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 11 analysts that rate LyondellBasell Industries a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 2 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates LyondellBasell Industries 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, 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 shows weak operating cash flow. Get the full LyondellBasell Industries 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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