ConocoPhillips (COP): Today's Featured Basic Materials Winner

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.

ConocoPhillips ( COP) pushed the Basic Materials sector higher today making it today's featured basic materials winner. The sector as a whole closed the day up 0.3%. By the end of trading, ConocoPhillips rose $0.87 (1.3%) to $67.66 on average volume. Throughout the day, 6,514,321 shares of ConocoPhillips exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 5,774,900 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $66.71-$68.10 after having opened the day at $66.73 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $66.79. Other companies within the Basic Materials sector that increased today were: Harmony Gold Mining ( HMY), up 10.5%, Gastar Exploration ( GST), up 9.8%, Entree Gold ( EGI), up 9.0% and Synthesis Energy Sys ( SYMX), up 8.9%.

ConocoPhillips explores for, produces, transports, and markets crude oil, bitumen, natural gas, liquefied natural gas, and natural gas liquids on a worldwide basis. ConocoPhillips has a market cap of $81.1 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are up 15.2% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 5 analysts that rate ConocoPhillips a buy, 4 analysts rate it a sell, and 6 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates ConocoPhillips as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, attractive valuation levels, expanding profit margins, good cash flow from operations and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. Although no company is perfect, currently we do not see any significant weaknesses which are likely to detract from the generally positive outlook.

On the negative front, Prospect Global Resources ( PGRX), down 29.6%, Crosshair Energy ( CXZ), down 14.3%, Atlatsa Resources ( ATL), down 12.3% and China Gengsheng Minerals ( CHGS), down 10.8% , were all laggards within the basic materials sector with Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation ( COG) 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).

3x UPSIDE POTENTIAL: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12-months. Learn more.

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