5 Stocks Driving The Basic Materials 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 lower today with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) trading down 79 points (-0.5%) at 15,419 as of Friday, Aug. 9, 2013, 12:50 PM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,348 issues advancing vs. 1,561 declining with 117 unchanged.

The Basic Materials sector currently sits up 0.1% versus the S&P 500, which is down 0.2%. Top gainers within the sector include Vale ( VALE), up 5.1%, ArcelorMittal ( MT), up 5.3%, Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold ( FCX), up 3.2%, Petroleo Brasileiro SA Petrobras ( PBR.A), up 1.8% and Statoil ASA ( STO), up 1.1%. On the negative front, top decliners within the sector include Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan ( POT), down 1.5%, Chevron ( CVX), down 0.7% and ConocoPhillips ( COP), down 0.7%.

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

5. Southern Copper Corporation ( SCCO) is one of the companies pushing the Basic Materials sector higher today. As of noon trading, Southern Copper Corporation is up $1.13 (4.1%) to $28.73 on heavy volume. Thus far, 1.6 million shares of Southern Copper Corporation exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1.9 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $27.58-$28.74 after having opened the day at $27.70 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $27.60.

Southern Copper Corporation engages in mining, exploring, producing, smelting, and refining copper and other minerals in Peru, Mexico, and Chile. Southern Copper Corporation has a market cap of $21.8 billion and is part of the metals & mining industry. Shares are down 27.1% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 2 analysts that rate Southern Copper Corporation a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 6 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Southern Copper Corporation as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its expanding profit margins, 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 feeble growth in the company's earnings per share, weak operating cash flow and a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself. Get the full Southern Copper 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.

4. As of noon trading, Teck Resources ( TCK) is up $1.06 (4.2%) to $26.54 on heavy volume. Thus far, 2.7 million shares of Teck Resources exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2.7 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $25.43-$26.70 after having opened the day at $25.60 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $25.48.

Teck Resources Limited engages in exploring for, acquiring, developing, and producing natural resources in the Americas, Asia Pacific, Europe, and Africa. Teck Resources has a market cap of $13.3 billion and is part of the metals & mining industry. Shares are down 29.9% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 10 analysts that rate Teck Resources a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 7 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Teck Resources as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, reasonable valuation levels and expanding profit margins. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including feeble growth in the company's earnings per share, disappointing return on equity and weak operating cash flow. Get the full Teck Resources 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, Royal Dutch Shell ( RDS.B) is up $0.36 (0.5%) to $67.70 on average volume. Thus far, 625,674 shares of Royal Dutch Shell exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1.1 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $67.50-$67.92 after having opened the day at $67.73 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $67.34.

Royal Dutch Shell plc operates as an independent oil and gas company worldwide. The company explores for and extracts crude oil, natural gas, and natural gas liquids. Royal Dutch Shell has a market cap of $210.2 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are down 5.0% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Royal Dutch Shell as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its reasonable valuation levels and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income. Get the full Royal Dutch Shell 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, Dow Chemical ( DOW) is up $0.51 (1.4%) to $37.42 on heavy volume. Thus far, 6.1 million shares of Dow Chemical exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 6.0 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $36.80-$37.48 after having opened the day at $36.85 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $36.91.

The Dow Chemical Company manufactures and supplies chemical products for use as raw materials worldwide. Dow Chemical has a market cap of $43.9 billion and is part of the chemicals industry. Shares are up 14.2% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 3 analysts that rate Dow Chemical a buy, 4 analysts rate it a sell, and 12 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 compelling growth in net income, revenue growth, increase in stock price during the past year, attractive valuation levels and good cash flow from operations. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins. 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.

1. As of noon trading, Barrick Gold Corporation ( ABX) is up $0.39 (2.3%) to $17.49 on average volume. Thus far, 10.9 million shares of Barrick Gold Corporation exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 18.4 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $16.79-$17.68 after having opened the day at $17.06 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $17.10.

Barrick Gold Corporation engages in the production and sale of gold and copper. It is also involved in exploration and mine development activities. Barrick Gold Corporation has a market cap of $15.6 billion and is part of the metals & mining industry. Shares are down 51.2% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 4 analysts that rate Barrick Gold Corporation a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 16 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Barrick Gold Corporation as a sell. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its feeble growth in its earnings per share, deteriorating net income, generally high debt management risk, disappointing return on equity and generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself. Get the full Barrick Gold 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.

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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