Hess Corp (HES): Today's Featured Basic Materials Winner

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Hess ( HES) pushed the Basic Materials sector higher today making it today's featured basic materials winner. The sector as a whole closed the day up 0.5%. By the end of trading, Hess rose $0.77 (1.0%) to $77.30 on average volume. Throughout the day, 2,536,687 shares of Hess exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2,666,700 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $76.26-$78.20 after having opened the day at $76.80 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $76.53. Other companies within the Basic Materials sector that increased today were: China Gengsheng Minerals ( CHGS), up 19.9%, Prospect Global Resources ( PGRX), up 16.7%, Mexco Energy Corporation ( MXC), up 12.7% and Methes Energies International ( MEIL), up 12.5%.

Hess Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, operates as an independent energy company worldwide. It operates in two segments, Exploration and Production (E&P), and Marketing and Refining (M&R). Hess has a market cap of $26.2 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are up 44.5% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 8 analysts that rate Hess a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 6 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Hess as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income, attractive valuation levels and expanding profit margins. 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, Constellation Energy Partners ( CEP), down 16.3%, Entree Gold ( EGI), down 13.7%, KiOR ( KIOR), down 13.4% and Asanko Gold ( AKG), down 8.4%.

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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