5 Stocks Raising 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.

All three major indices are trading up today with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) trading up 83 points (0.5%) at 16,304 as of Monday, Dec. 23, 2013, 11:55 AM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 2,307 issues advancing vs. 673 declining with 118 unchanged.

The Basic Materials sector currently sits up 0.9% versus the S&P 500, which is up 0.6%. Top gainers within the sector include Regency Energy Partners ( RGP), up 10.8%, Energy Transfer Equity ( ETE), up 3.0%, Energy Transfer Partners L.P ( ETP), up 2.7%, Williams Companies ( WMB), up 2.4% and Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan ( POT), up 2.1%.

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

5. Phillips 66 ( PSX) is one of the companies pushing the Basic Materials sector higher today. As of noon trading, Phillips 66 is up $1.02 (1.4%) to $75.04 on light volume. Thus far, 1.0 million shares of Phillips 66 exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3.5 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $74.48-$75.39 after having opened the day at $74.55 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $74.03.

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 $43.7 billion and is part of the energy industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 12.7, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 39.4% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are 7 analysts that rate Phillips 66 a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 5 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 revenue growth, 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 feeble growth in the company's earnings per share, unimpressive growth in net income and poor profit margins. Get the full Phillips 66 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, Marathon Petroleum ( MPC) is up $1.69 (1.9%) to $88.95 on light volume. Thus far, 1.0 million shares of Marathon Petroleum exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3.8 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $87.84-$89.95 after having opened the day at $88.18 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $87.26.

Marathon Petroleum Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, engages in refining, transporting, and marketing petroleum products primarily in the United States. It operates through Refining & Marketing, Speedway, and Pipeline Transportation segments. Marathon Petroleum has a market cap of $25.8 billion and is part of the energy industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 12.5, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 39.0% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are 7 analysts that rate Marathon Petroleum a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 4 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Marathon Petroleum as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, solid stock price performance, 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 Marathon Petroleum 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, Occidental Petroleum Corporation ( OXY) is up $0.96 (1.0%) to $93.76 on light volume. Thus far, 807,568 shares of Occidental Petroleum Corporation exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3.6 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $93.33-$93.88 after having opened the day at $93.41 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $92.80.

Occidental Petroleum Corporation engages in the exploration and production of oil and gas properties in the United States and internationally. The company operates in three segments: Oil and Gas; Chemical; and Midstream, Marketing and Other. Occidental Petroleum Corporation has a market cap of $74.9 billion and is part of the energy industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 16.3, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 21.1% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are 13 analysts that rate Occidental Petroleum Corporation a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 4 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Occidental Petroleum Corporation as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, attractive valuation levels, expanding profit margins and good cash flow from operations. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat disappointing return on equity. Get the full Occidental Petroleum 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.

2. As of noon trading, Dow Chemical ( DOW) is up $0.44 (1.0%) to $44.22 on light volume. Thus far, 2.3 million shares of Dow Chemical exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 8.5 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $43.88-$44.49 after having opened the day at $44.04 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $43.78.

The Dow Chemical Company manufactures and supplies chemical products for use as raw materials worldwide. Dow Chemical has a market cap of $53.2 billion and is part of the chemicals industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 19.3, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 35.4% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are 3 analysts that rate Dow Chemical a buy, 3 analysts rate it a sell, and 10 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Dow Chemical as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, revenue growth, reasonable valuation levels, good cash flow from operations and impressive record of earnings per share growth. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins. Get the full Dow Chemical 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, Schlumberger ( SLB) is up $0.56 (0.6%) to $87.83 on light volume. Thus far, 2.0 million shares of Schlumberger exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 5.9 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $87.72-$88.13 after having opened the day at $87.89 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $87.27.

Schlumberger Limited, together with its subsidiaries, supplies technology, integrated project management, and information solutions to oil and gas exploration and production industries worldwide. It operates through three groups: Reservoir Characterization, Drilling, and Production. Schlumberger has a market cap of $113.9 billion and is part of the energy industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 17.4, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 25.9% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are 23 analysts that rate Schlumberger a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 1 rates it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Schlumberger as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, increase in stock price during the past year, impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins. Get the full Schlumberger 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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