3 Stocks Boosting The Materials & Construction Industry 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 up today with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) trading up 70 points (0.5%) at 14,846 as of Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2013, 12:45 PM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,865 issues advancing vs. 1,062 declining with 104 unchanged.

The Materials & Construction industry currently sits down 0.2% versus the S&P 500, which is up 0.6%. Top gainers within the industry include Weyerhaeuser ( WY), up 2.6%, and Sherwin-Williams Company ( SHW), up 1.3%.

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

3. MDU Resources Group ( MDU) is one of the companies pushing the Materials & Construction industry higher today. As of noon trading, MDU Resources Group is up $0.41 (1.5%) to $27.54 on light volume. Thus far, 121,912 shares of MDU Resources Group exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 612,600 shares. The stock has ranged in price between $27.14-$27.58 after having opened the day at $27.14 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $27.13.

MDU Resources Group, Inc. operates as a diversified natural resource company in the United States. The company's Electric segment generates, transmits, and distributes electricity in Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming. MDU Resources Group has a market cap of $5.2 billion and is part of the utilities sector. Shares are up 27.7% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 4 analysts that rate MDU Resources Group a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 4 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates MDU Resources Group as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, good cash flow from operations, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures 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 MDU Resources Group 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, Vulcan Materials Company ( VMC) is up $0.59 (1.2%) to $48.37 on light volume. Thus far, 206,210 shares of Vulcan Materials Company exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 604,700 shares. The stock has ranged in price between $47.70-$48.38 after having opened the day at $47.70 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $47.78.

Vulcan Materials Company engages in the production and sale of construction aggregates, as well as asphalt mix, ready-mixed concrete, and cement primarily in the United States. The company operates in four segments: Aggregates, Concrete, Asphalt Mix, and Cement. Vulcan Materials Company has a market cap of $6.2 billion and is part of the industrial goods sector. Shares are down 8.2% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 3 analysts that rate Vulcan Materials Company a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 7 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Vulcan Materials Company as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, solid stock price performance and impressive record of earnings per share growth. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including weak operating cash flow and poor profit margins. Get the full Vulcan Materials Company 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, Fastenal Company ( FAST) is up $0.26 (0.6%) to $44.28 on light volume. Thus far, 320,366 shares of Fastenal Company exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1.7 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $43.84-$44.44 after having opened the day at $44.21 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $44.02.

Fastenal Company, together with its subsidiaries, operates as a wholesaler and retailer of industrial and construction supplies in the United States, Canada, and internationally. The company offers fasteners and other industrial and construction supplies under the Fastenal name. Fastenal Company has a market cap of $13.3 billion and is part of the industrial goods sector. Shares are down 3.8% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 3 analysts that rate Fastenal Company a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 7 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Fastenal Company 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, notable return on equity, expanding profit margins and growth in earnings per share. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company is trading at a premium valuation based on our review of its current price compared to such things as earnings and book value. Get the full Fastenal Company 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 materials & construction industry could consider SPDR S&P Homebuilders ETF ( XHB) while those bearish on the materials & construction industry could consider ProShares Short Basic Materials Fd ( SBM).

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