Phillips 66 (PSX): Today's Featured Basic Materials Winner

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Phillips 66 ( PSX) 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, Phillips 66 rose $0.92 (1.6%) to $59.09 on average volume. Throughout the day, 3,157,024 shares of Phillips 66 exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 4,006,500 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $58.00-$59.19 after having opened the day at $58.39 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $58.17. Other companies within the Basic Materials sector that increased today were: Atlatsa Resources ( ATL), up 21.5%, Earthstone Energy ( ESTE), up 18.7%, Goodrich Petroleum ( GDP), up 11.4% and China Green Agriculture ( CGA), up 10.8%.

Phillips 66 operates as an independent downstream energy company. The company operates in three segments: Refining and Marketing (R&M), Midstream, and Chemicals. Phillips 66 has a market cap of $36.5 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are up 9.5% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are 7 analysts that rate Phillips 66 a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 4 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Phillips 66 as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, 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 poor profit margins and weak operating cash flow.

On the negative front, KiOR ( KIOR), down 21.2%, Ossen Innovation ( OSN), down 12.8%, Camac Energy ( CAK), down 12.3% and Global Geophysical Services ( GGS), down 10.2% , were all laggards within the basic materials sector with Spectra Energy ( SE) 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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