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Tesoro Corporation ( TSO) pushed the Basic Materials sector higher today making it today's featured basic materials winner. The sector as a whole closed the day up 0.7%. By the end of trading, Tesoro Corporation rose $2.15 (3.8%) to $58.31 on average volume. Throughout the day, 3,342,165 shares of Tesoro Corporation exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3,868,300 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $56.54-$58.44 after having opened the day at $56.72 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $56.16. Other companies within the Basic Materials sector that increased today were: Lilis Energy ( LLEX), up 25.0%, North American Palladium ( PAL), up 15.8%, Eagle Rock Energy Partners ( EROC), up 12.6% and Lightbridge ( LTBR), up 12.4%.

Tesoro Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, engages in refining and marketing petroleum products in the United States. It operates in two segments, Refining and Retail. Tesoro Corporation has a market cap of $7.5 billion and is part of the energy industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 17.5, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 27.5% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are 7 analysts that rate Tesoro Corporation a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 5 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Tesoro Corporation as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, solid stock price performance, good cash flow from operations 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 negative front, TransAtlantic Petroleum ( TAT), down 23.6%, Northern Dynasty Minerals ( NAK), down 17.8%, MagneGas Corporation ( MNGA), down 13.5% and Kingold Jewelry ( KGJI), down 8.9% , were all laggards within the basic materials sector with FMC Technologies ( FTI) 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).

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