3 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.

All three major indices are trading down today with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) trading down 58 points (-0.4%) at 15,461 as of Wednesday, Aug. 7, 2013, 12:50 PM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 785 issues advancing vs. 2,161 declining with 94 unchanged.

The Basic Materials sector currently sits down 0.8% versus the S&P 500, which is down 0.4%. Top gainers within the sector include Energy Transfer Equity ( ETE), up 2.6%, EOG Resources ( EOG), up 2.2%, Tenaris ( TS), up 1.7%, Devon Energy ( DVN), up 1.2% and Petroleo Brasileiro SA Petrobras ( PBR), up 0.5%. On the negative front, top decliners within the sector include Axiall ( AXLL), down 18.8%, Marathon Oil ( MRO), down 4.6%, Range Resources Corporation ( RRC), down 2.9%, Chesapeake Energy ( CHK), down 2.3% and Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation ( COG), down 2.2%.

TheStreet would like to highlight 3 stocks pushing the sector higher today:

3. ArcelorMittal ( MT) is one of the companies pushing the Basic Materials sector higher today. As of noon trading, ArcelorMittal is up $0.19 (1.6%) to $12.35 on average volume. Thus far, 2.6 million shares of ArcelorMittal exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 6.0 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $12.18-$12.38 after having opened the day at $12.27 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $12.16.

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 $19.7 billion and is part of the metals & mining industry. Shares are down 30.4% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. 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.

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2. As of noon trading, Vale ( VALE) is up $0.25 (1.8%) to $14.00 on average volume. Thus far, 8.8 million shares of Vale exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 17.8 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $13.62-$14.06 after having opened the day at $13.62 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $13.75.

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 $70.8 billion and is part of the metals & mining industry. Shares are down 34.4% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. 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.

1. As of noon trading, Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold ( FCX) is up $0.55 (1.9%) to $29.71 on average volume. Thus far, 11.9 million shares of Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 16.9 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $28.96-$29.93 after having opened the day at $29.01 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $29.16.

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 $27.6 billion and is part of the metals & mining industry. Shares are down 14.7% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 12 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 attractive valuation levels and notable return on equity. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including feeble growth in the company's earnings per share, generally higher debt management risk and poor profit margins. 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 3 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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