Continental Resources Inc (CLR): Today's Featured Basic Materials Winner

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Continental Resources ( CLR) pushed the Basic Materials sector higher today making it today's featured basic materials winner. The sector as a whole closed the day down 0.5%. By the end of trading, Continental Resources rose $1.80 (1.9%) to $98.07 on average volume. Throughout the day, 1,435,545 shares of Continental Resources exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1,007,200 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $95.82-$99.01 after having opened the day at $96.16 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $96.27. Other companies within the Basic Materials sector that increased today were: Senomyx ( SNMX), up 36.5%, Ossen Innovation ( OSN), up 17.3%, Dejour Energy ( DEJ), up 12.7% and Valhi ( VHI), up 11.4%.

Continental Resources, Inc. engages in the exploration, development, and production of crude oil and natural gas properties in the north, south, and east regions of the United States. Continental Resources has a market cap of $17.1 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are up 25.6% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 14 analysts that rate Continental Resources a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 6 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Continental Resources as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, expanding profit margins, good cash flow from operations, solid stock price performance and impressive record of earnings per share growth. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had generally high debt management risk by most measures that we evaluated.

On the negative front, Samson Oil & Gas ( SSN), down 25.3%, Lightbridge ( LTBR), down 11.9%, Alpha Natural Resources ( ANR), down 9.0% and Sonde Resources ( SOQ), down 8.9% , were all laggards within the basic materials sector with Valero Energy Corporation ( VLO) 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).

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