5 Stocks Underperforming Today In 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.

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%. 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%. 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%.

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

5. Imperial Oil ( IMO) is one of the companies pushing the Basic Materials sector lower today. As of noon trading, Imperial Oil is down $0.29 (-0.7%) to $40.53 on light volume. Thus far, 44,129 shares of Imperial Oil exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 230,600 shares. The stock has ranged in price between $40.35-$40.82 after having opened the day at $40.46 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $40.82.

Imperial Oil Limited engages in the exploration, production, and sale of crude oil and natural gas in Canada. The company operates through three segments: Upstream, Downstream, and Chemical. Imperial Oil has a market cap of $34.6 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are down 5.1% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there is 1 analyst that rates Imperial Oil a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 3 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Imperial Oil as a buy. 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 reasonable valuation levels. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income. Get the full Imperial Oil Ratings Report now.

STOCKS TO BUY: 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, Ecopetrol S.A ( EC) is down $0.84 (-1.8%) to $46.46 on average volume. Thus far, 184,274 shares of Ecopetrol S.A exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 483,400 shares. The stock has ranged in price between $45.76-$46.97 after having opened the day at $46.82 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $47.30.

Ecopetrol S.A., an integrated oil company, engages in the exploration, development, and production of crude oil and natural gas Colombia. The company operates in four segments: Exploration and Production, Refining and Petrochemicals, Transportation, and Market and Supply. Ecopetrol S.A has a market cap of $94.9 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are down 20.7% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are no analysts that rate Ecopetrol S.A a buy, 2 analysts rate it a sell, and 1 rates it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Ecopetrol S.A as a buy. 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. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself. Get the full Ecopetrol S.A Ratings Report now.

STOCKS TO BUY: 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, Cenovus Energy ( CVE) is down $0.52 (-1.8%) to $28.74 on average volume. Thus far, 496,570 shares of Cenovus Energy exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1.1 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $28.68-$29.17 after having opened the day at $29.00 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $29.26.

Cenovus Energy Inc., an integrated oil company, together with its subsidiaries, engages in the development, production, and marketing of bitumen, crude oil, natural gas, and natural gas liquids (NGLs) in Canada with refining operations in the United States. Cenovus Energy has a market cap of $21.9 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are down 12.8% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 10 analysts that rate Cenovus Energy a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 1 rates it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Cenovus Energy as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself. Get the full Cenovus Energy Ratings Report now.

STOCKS TO BUY: 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, Canadian Natural Resources ( CNQ) is down $0.33 (-1.1%) to $30.50 on average volume. Thus far, 1.0 million shares of Canadian Natural Resources exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2.5 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $30.36-$30.69 after having opened the day at $30.40 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $30.83.

Canadian Natural Resources Limited engages in the exploration, development, production and marketing of crude oil, natural gas liquids, and natural gas. Canadian Natural Resources has a market cap of $34.2 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are up 6.8% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 10 analysts that rate Canadian Natural Resources a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 4 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Canadian Natural Resources as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, expanding profit margins and increase in stock price during the past year. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including feeble growth in the company's earnings per share, deteriorating net income and disappointing return on equity. Get the full Canadian Natural Resources Ratings Report now.

STOCKS TO BUY: 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, Gulfport Energy Corporation ( GPOR) is down $4.01 (-7.2%) to $51.63 on heavy volume. Thus far, 4.3 million shares of Gulfport Energy Corporation exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1.4 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $51.04-$53.92 after having opened the day at $52.75 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $55.64.

Gulfport Energy Corporation engages in the exploration, development, and production of oil and natural gas properties. Gulfport Energy Corporation has a market cap of $4.4 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are up 45.6% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 12 analysts that rate Gulfport Energy Corporation a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 1 rates it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Gulfport Energy Corporation as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its increase in net income, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, expanding profit margins and solid stock price performance. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat disappointing return on equity. Get the full Gulfport Energy Corporation Ratings Report now.

STOCKS TO BUY: 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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