Marathon Oil Corp (MRO): Today's Featured Basic Materials Laggard

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Marathon Oil ( MRO) pushed the Basic Materials sector lower today making it today's featured Basic Materials laggard. The sector as a whole closed the day down 1.4%. By the end of trading, Marathon Oil fell $0.95 (-2.5%) to $36.88 on average volume. Throughout the day, 5,515,946 shares of Marathon Oil exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 4,559,300 shares. The stock ranged in price between $36.58-$37.85 after having opened the day at $37.80 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $37.83. Other companies within the Basic Materials sector that declined today were: Sibanye Gold Ltd ADR ( SBGL), down 46.2%, Allied Nevada Gold ( ANV), down 25.9%, GMX Resources ( GMXRQ), down 25.0% and McDermott International ( MDR), down 20.6%.

Marathon Oil Corporation operates as an energy company worldwide. Marathon Oil has a market cap of $26.6 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are up 23.4% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are 12 analysts that rate Marathon Oil a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 4 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Marathon Oil as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, solid stock price performance, attractive valuation levels, expanding profit margins and good cash flow from operations. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat disappointing return on equity.

On the positive front, China Gengsheng Minerals ( CHGS), up 66.7%, Verenium Corporation ( VRNM), up 37.1%, Cardero Resources Corporation ( CDY), up 16.9% and Andatee China Marine Fuel Services Corporat ( AMCF), up 11.9% , were all gainers within the basic materials sector with Enterprise Products Partners ( EPD) 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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