MarkWest Energy Partners LP (MWE): Today's Featured Basic Materials Laggard

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.

MarkWest Energy Partners ( MWE) pushed the Basic Materials sector lower today making it today's featured Basic Materials laggard. The sector as a whole closed the day up 0.7%. By the end of trading, MarkWest Energy Partners fell $1.35 (-1.9%) to $70.65 on average volume. Throughout the day, 832,997 shares of MarkWest Energy Partners exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 779,300 shares. The stock ranged in price between $70.49-$71.99 after having opened the day at $71.93 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $72.00. Other companies within the Basic Materials sector that declined today were: GeoPetro Resources Company ( GPR), down 25.8%, Andatee China Marine Fuel Services Corporat ( AMCF), down 16.7%, Quaterra Resources ( QMM), down 13.3% and Cardero Resources Corporation ( CDY), down 9.9%.

Markwest Energy Partners, L.P., together with its subsidiaries, engages in the gathering, processing, and transportation of natural gas the United States. MarkWest Energy Partners has a market cap of $10.1 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are up 38.4% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 10 analysts that rate MarkWest Energy Partners a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and none rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates MarkWest Energy Partners as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its good cash flow from operations, expanding profit margins, solid stock price performance 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.

On the positive front, Platinum Group Metal ( PLG), up 15.9%, Kimber Resources ( KBX), up 15.5%, Kimber Resources ( KBXR), up 15.5% and Prospect Global Resources ( PGRX), up 12.4% , were all gainers within the basic materials sector with LyondellBasell Industries ( LYB) being today's featured basic materials sector leader.

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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