STO, RDS.B And LYB, 3 Basic Materials Stocks Pushing The Sector Lower

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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%. 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%. 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%.

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

3. Statoil ASA ( STO) is one of the companies pushing the Basic Materials sector lower today. As of noon trading, Statoil ASA is down $0.20 (-0.8%) to $24.81 on average volume. Thus far, 636,389 shares of Statoil ASA exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1.2 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $24.74-$24.95 after having opened the day at $24.94 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $25.01.

Statoil ASA, an integrated energy company, engages in the exploration, production, transportation, refining, and marketing of petroleum and petroleum-derived products in Norway and internationally. Statoil ASA has a market cap of $79.5 billion and is part of the energy industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 8.3, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 3.6% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 5 analysts that rate Statoil ASA a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 2 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Statoil ASA as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its attractive valuation levels, expanding profit margins, 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 somewhat weak growth in earnings per share. Get the full Statoil ASA Ratings Report now.

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