5 Stocks Dragging The Basic Materials Sector Downward

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 41 points (-0.3%) at 14,800 as of Friday, Aug. 30, 2013, 12:50 PM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 850 issues advancing vs. 2,040 declining with 117 unchanged.

The Basic Materials sector currently sits down 0.4% versus the S&P 500, which is down 0.3%. On the negative front, top decliners within the sector include Barrick Gold Corporation ( ABX), down 2.2%, Total ( TOT), down 1.4%, Petroleo Brasileiro SA Petrobras ( PBR), down 1.2%, Royal Dutch Shell ( RDS.A), down 1.1% and BP ( BP), down 0.6%.

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

5. Ecopetrol S.A ( EC) is one of the companies pushing the Basic Materials sector lower today. As of noon trading, Ecopetrol S.A is down $0.36 (-0.8%) to $45.03 on light volume. Thus far, 125,444 shares of Ecopetrol S.A exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 386,100 shares. The stock has ranged in price between $44.71-$45.58 after having opened the day at $45.36 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $45.39.

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 $94.6 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are down 22.9% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. 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 good cash flow from operations, 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.

4. As of noon trading, Statoil ASA ( STO) is down $0.22 (-1.0%) to $21.98 on average volume. Thus far, 715,676 shares of Statoil ASA exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1.6 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $21.87-$22.03 after having opened the day at $21.89 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $22.20.

Statoil ASA, an integrated energy company, engages in the exploration, production, transportation, refining, and marketing of petroleum and petroleum-derived products in Norway and internationally. Statoil ASA has a market cap of $72.2 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are down 11.3% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 5 analysts that rate Statoil ASA a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 4 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Statoil ASA as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its attractive valuation levels, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and expanding profit margins. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat weak growth in earnings per share. Get the full Statoil ASA 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, Royal Dutch Shell ( RDS.B) is down $0.82 (-1.2%) to $67.20 on average volume. Thus far, 591,636 shares of Royal Dutch Shell exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1.0 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $67.02-$67.48 after having opened the day at $67.29 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $68.02.

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 $216.8 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are down 4.0% 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.

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, Petroleo Brasileiro SA Petrobras ( PBR.A) is down $0.27 (-1.9%) to $14.13 on average volume. Thus far, 6.2 million shares of Petroleo Brasileiro SA Petrobras exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 8.5 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $14.03-$14.39 after having opened the day at $14.39 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $14.40.

Petroleo Brasileiro S.A. - Petrobras operates as an integrated oil and gas company in Brazil and internationally. Petroleo Brasileiro SA Petrobras has a market cap of $96.3 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are down 25.4% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Petroleo Brasileiro SA Petrobras as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its attractive valuation levels and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including disappointing return on equity, poor profit margins and weak operating cash flow. Get the full Petroleo Brasileiro SA Petrobras 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, Phillips 66 ( PSX) is down $0.42 (-0.7%) to $57.30 on light volume. Thus far, 880,160 shares of Phillips 66 exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3.8 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $57.21-$58.50 after having opened the day at $57.94 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $57.72.

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 $36.0 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are up 8.7% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 8 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. Get the full Phillips 66 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 4 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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