5 Stocks Driving The Basic Materials Sector 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.

Two out of the three major indices are trading up today with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) trading down 23 points (-0.2%) at 15,311 as of Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2013, 12:55 PM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,760 issues advancing vs. 1,167 declining with 109 unchanged.

The Basic Materials sector currently sits up 0.8% versus the S&P 500, which is up 0.1%. Top gainers within the sector include Anglogold Ashanti ( AU), up 6.0%, Cheniere Energy ( LNG), up 4.9%, Talisman Energy ( TLM), up 3.8%, Yamana Gold ( AUY), up 3.7% and CF Industries Holdings ( CF), up 3.4%. On the negative front, top decliners within the sector include Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation ( COG), down 2.7%, POSCO ( PKX), down 1.0%, Petroleo Brasileiro SA Petrobras ( PBR.A), down 0.9%, Cenovus Energy ( CVE), down 0.9% and EOG Resources ( EOG), down 0.7%.

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

5. Continental Resources ( CLR) is one of the companies pushing the Basic Materials sector higher today. As of noon trading, Continental Resources is up $1.74 (1.6%) to $107.35 on average volume. Thus far, 740,326 shares of Continental Resources exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1.0 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $105.82-$108.19 after having opened the day at $105.82 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $105.61.

Continental Resources, Inc. engages in the exploration, development, and production of crude oil and natural gas properties in the north, south, and east regions of the United States. Continental Resources has a market cap of $19.1 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are up 39.9% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 14 analysts that rate Continental Resources a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 6 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Continental Resources as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, good cash flow from operations, expanding profit margins and solid stock price performance. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had generally high debt management risk by most measures that we evaluated. Get the full Continental Resources 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.

4. As of noon trading, Silver Wheaton Corporation ( SLW) is up $0.90 (3.7%) to $25.08 on average volume. Thus far, 2.8 million shares of Silver Wheaton Corporation exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 6.3 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $24.31-$25.16 after having opened the day at $24.35 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $24.18.

Silver Wheaton Corp., together with its subsidiaries, operates as silver and gold streaming company worldwide. The company has 20 long-term purchase agreements associated with silver and gold relating to 23 mining assets. Silver Wheaton Corporation has a market cap of $8.6 billion and is part of the metals & mining industry. Shares are down 32.7% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 15 analysts that rate Silver Wheaton Corporation a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 1 rates it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Silver Wheaton Corporation as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, expanding profit margins and notable return on equity. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including deteriorating net income, weak operating cash flow and a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself. Get the full Silver Wheaton Corporation 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.

3. As of noon trading, Goldcorp ( GG) is up $0.73 (2.9%) to $26.34 on average volume. Thus far, 4.9 million shares of Goldcorp exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 8.6 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $25.73-$26.53 after having opened the day at $25.75 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $25.61.

Goldcorp Inc. engages in the acquisition, development, exploration, and operation of precious metal properties in Canada, the United States, Mexico, and Central and South America. It primarily explores for gold ores, as well as for silver, copper, lead, and zinc ores. Goldcorp has a market cap of $20.7 billion and is part of the metals & mining industry. Shares are down 30.5% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 15 analysts that rate Goldcorp a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 5 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Goldcorp as a sell. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its feeble growth in its earnings per share, deteriorating net income, disappointing return on equity, weak operating cash flow and generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself. Get the full Goldcorp 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, LyondellBasell Industries ( LYB) is up $0.71 (1.0%) to $73.13 on light volume. Thus far, 1.0 million shares of LyondellBasell Industries exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3.7 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $72.09-$73.34 after having opened the day at $72.59 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $72.42.

LyondellBasell Industries N.V., together with its subsidiaries, manufacturers and sells chemicals and polymers; refines crude oil; produces gasoline blending components; and develops and licenses technologies for the production of polymers. LyondellBasell Industries has a market cap of $41.4 billion and is part of the chemicals industry. Shares are up 27.2% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 10 analysts that rate LyondellBasell Industries a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 3 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates LyondellBasell Industries 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, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins. Get the full LyondellBasell Industries 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, Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold ( FCX) is up $0.41 (1.2%) to $34.15 on average volume. Thus far, 5.4 million shares of Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 13.5 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $33.58-$34.18 after having opened the day at $34.05 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $33.74.

Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc. engages in the exploration of mineral resource properties. The company primarily explores for copper, gold, molybdenum, cobalt, silver, and other metals, such as rhenium and magnetite. Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold has a market cap of $35.0 billion and is part of the metals & mining industry. Shares are down 1.3% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 12 analysts that rate Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 4 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold as a hold. Among the primary strengths of the company is its respectable return on equity which we feel is likely to continue. At the same time, however, we also find weaknesses including feeble growth in the company's earnings per share, deteriorating net income and generally higher debt management risk. Get the full Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold 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 5 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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