3 Basic Materials Stocks Moving The Sector Upward

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.

One out of the three major indices are trading lower today with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) trading up 14 points (0.1%) at 16,456 as of Friday, Jan. 3, 2014, 11:55 AM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,718 issues advancing vs. 1,181 declining with 172 unchanged.

The Basic Materials sector currently sits up 0.1% versus the S&P 500, which is unchanged. On the negative front, top decliners within the sector include China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation ( SNP), down 1.8%, Southern Copper Corporation ( SCCO), down 1.7%, Chesapeake Energy ( CHK), down 1.5%, Continental Resources ( CLR), down 1.5% and PetroChina ( PTR), down 1.4%.

TheStreet would like to highlight 3 stocks pushing the sector higher today:

3. Apache Corporation ( APA) is one of the companies pushing the Basic Materials sector higher today. As of noon trading, Apache Corporation is up $0.56 (0.7%) to $86.04 on light volume. Thus far, 860,861 shares of Apache Corporation exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2.4 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $85.62-$86.73 after having opened the day at $85.82 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $85.48.

Apache Corporation, an independent energy company, explores for, develops, and produces natural gas, crude oil, and natural gas liquids. Apache Corporation has a market cap of $34.3 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are down 0.5% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 13 analysts that rate Apache Corporation a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 7 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Apache Corporation as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, reasonable valuation levels, expanding profit margins, good cash flow from operations and increase in net income. Although no company is perfect, currently we do not see any significant weaknesses which are likely to detract from the generally positive outlook. Get the full Apache 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, E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Company ( DD) is up $0.36 (0.6%) to $64.07 on light volume. Thus far, 1.0 million shares of E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Company exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3.9 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $63.55-$64.19 after having opened the day at $63.87 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $63.71.

E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company operates as a science and technology based company worldwide. Its Agriculture segment provides corn hybrid, soybean, canola, sunflower, sorghum, inoculants, wheat, and rice seed products under the Pioneer brand; and herbicides, fungicides, and insecticides. E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Company has a market cap of $60.2 billion and is part of the chemicals industry. Shares are down 1.9% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 4 analysts that rate E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Company a buy, 2 analysts rate it a sell, and 9 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Company as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, compelling growth in net income, revenue growth and growth in earnings per share. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins. Get the full E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Company 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, Halliburton Company ( HAL) is up $0.28 (0.6%) to $50.29 on light volume. Thus far, 2.1 million shares of Halliburton Company exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 8.8 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $49.94-$50.42 after having opened the day at $50.02 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $50.01.

Halliburton Company provides a range of services and products for the exploration, development, and production of oil and natural gas to oil and gas companies worldwide. The company operates in two segments, Completion and Production, and Drilling and Evaluation. Halliburton Company has a market cap of $43.0 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are down 1.5% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 17 analysts that rate Halliburton Company a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 5 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Halliburton Company as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, good cash flow from operations, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, solid stock price performance and growth in earnings per share. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat disappointing return on equity. Get the full Halliburton Company 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 3 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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