5 Basic Materials Stocks Pushing The 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 lower today with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) trading up 48 points (0.3%) at 16,465 as of Friday, Jan. 17, 2014, 11:55 AM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,451 issues advancing vs. 1,447 declining with 177 unchanged.

The Basic Materials sector currently sits up 0.5% versus the S&P 500, which is down 0.1%. Top gainers within the sector include Barrick Gold Corporation ( ABX), up 3.5%, Goldcorp ( GG), up 3.0%, Schlumberger ( SLB), up 1.7%, Valero Energy Corporation ( VLO), up 1.6% and China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation ( SNP), up 1.6%. On the negative front, top decliners within the sector include Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan ( POT), down 1.8%, Apache Corporation ( APA), down 1.1%, Anadarko Petroleum ( APC), down 0.9% and Royal Dutch Shell PLC ADR Class A ( RDS.A), down 0.6%.

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

5. Energy Transfer Equity ( ETE) is one of the companies pushing the Basic Materials sector higher today. As of noon trading, Energy Transfer Equity is up $1.50 (1.8%) to $86.14 on light volume. Thus far, 280,744 shares of Energy Transfer Equity exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 876,900 shares. The stock has ranged in price between $84.15-$86.21 after having opened the day at $84.85 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $84.64.

Energy Transfer Equity, L.P., through its subsidiaries, provides diversified energy-related services in the United States. The company sells natural gas to electric utilities, independent power plants, local distribution companies, industrial end-users, and other marketing companies. Energy Transfer Equity has a market cap of $23.6 billion and is part of the energy industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 62.3, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 3.5% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 7 analysts who rate Energy Transfer Equity a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 1 rates it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Energy Transfer Equity as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, compelling growth in net income, good cash flow from operations, notable return on equity 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 Energy Transfer Equity 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, BP ( BP) is up $0.46 (0.9%) to $48.36 on average volume. Thus far, 3.1 million shares of BP exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 5.6 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $48.01-$48.47 after having opened the day at $48.06 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $47.91.

BP p.l.c. provides fuel for transportation, energy for heat and light, lubricants to engines, and petrochemicals products. BP has a market cap of $149.4 billion and is part of the energy industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 13.1, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 1.4% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 5 analysts who rate BP a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 3 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates BP as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, attractive valuation levels, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, notable return on equity and increase in stock price during the past year. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income. Get the full BP 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, Alcoa ( AA) is up $0.36 (3.3%) to $11.40 on heavy volume. Thus far, 26.3 million shares of Alcoa exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 25.6 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $11.03-$11.50 after having opened the day at $11.03 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $11.04.

Alcoa Inc. engages in the production and management of primary aluminum, fabricated aluminum, and alumina. The company operates in four segments: Alumina, Primary Metals, Global Rolled Products, and Engineered Products and Solutions. Alcoa has a market cap of $11.3 billion and is part of the metals & mining industry. Shares are up 3.9% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 2 analysts who rate Alcoa a buy, 4 analysts rate it a sell, and 7 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Alcoa as a hold. Among the primary strengths of the company is its solid stock performance, considering both the consistency and magnitude of the price movement over time. At the same time, however, we also find weaknesses including deteriorating net income, disappointing return on equity and poor profit margins. Get the full Alcoa 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, Chevron ( CVX) is up $0.96 (0.8%) to $119.79 on average volume. Thus far, 3.0 million shares of Chevron exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 5.7 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $118.74-$120.37 after having opened the day at $119.03 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $118.83.

Chevron Corporation, through its subsidiaries, engages in petroleum, chemicals, mining, power generation, and energy operations worldwide. The company operates in two segments, Upstream and Downstream. Chevron has a market cap of $229.2 billion and is part of the energy industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 9.8, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 4.9% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 9 analysts who rate Chevron a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 4 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Chevron 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, good cash flow from operations and increase in stock price during the past year. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat weak growth in earnings per share. Get the full Chevron 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, Exxon Mobil Corporation ( XOM) is up $1.08 (1.1%) to $100.02 on average volume. Thus far, 6.1 million shares of Exxon Mobil Corporation exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 12.3 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $98.67-$100.13 after having opened the day at $99.18 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $98.94.

Exxon Mobil Corporation engages in the exploration and production of crude oil and natural gas, and manufacture of petroleum products. The company also transports and sells crude oil, natural gas, and petroleum products. It has approximately 37,228 gross and 31,264 net operated wells. Exxon Mobil Corporation has a market cap of $431.5 billion and is part of the energy industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 12.9, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 2.2% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 6 analysts who rate Exxon Mobil Corporation a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 6 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Exxon Mobil Corporation as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its attractive valuation levels, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and increase in stock price during the past year. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow. Get the full Exxon Mobil 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.

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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