3 Stocks Pushing The Basic Materials Sector Lower

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 down 125 points (-0.8%) at 16,333 as of Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2014, 11:55 AM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,733 issues advancing vs. 1,234 declining with 157 unchanged.

The Basic Materials sector currently sits up 0.6% versus the S&P 500, which is down 0.1%. On the negative front, top decliners within the sector include Halliburton Company ( HAL), down 2.6%, Petroleo Brasileiro SA Petrobras ( PBR.A), down 1.7%, Ecopetrol S.A ( EC), down 1.4% and Exxon Mobil Corporation ( XOM), down 0.9%. Top gainers within the sector include Alcoa ( AA), up 7.0%, Anadarko Petroleum ( APC), up 1.9%, Enterprise Products Partners ( EPD), up 1.6%, Royal Dutch Shell ( RDS.B), up 0.9% and Statoil ASA ( STO), up 0.8%.

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

3. Companhia Siderurgica Nacional ( SID) is one of the companies pushing the Basic Materials sector lower today. As of noon trading, Companhia Siderurgica Nacional is down $0.48 (-8.2%) to $5.40 on heavy volume. Thus far, 5.4 million shares of Companhia Siderurgica Nacional exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 5.7 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $5.39-$5.68 after having opened the day at $5.68 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $5.88.

Companhia Siderurgica Nacional operates as an integrated steel producer primarily in Brazil. The company principally produces carbon steel and various steel products for automotive, home appliance, packaging, construction, and steel processing industries. Companhia Siderurgica Nacional has a market cap of $8.6 billion and is part of the metals & mining industry. Shares are down 5.2% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are no analysts that rate Companhia Siderurgica Nacional a buy, 3 analysts rate it a sell, and 1 rates it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Companhia Siderurgica Nacional as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, notable return on equity and compelling growth in net income. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including weak operating cash flow, a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself and generally higher debt management risk. Get the full Companhia Siderurgica Nacional Ratings Report now.

STOCKS TO BUY: 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, Petroleo Brasileiro SA Petrobras ( PBR) is down $0.28 (-2.2%) to $12.20 on average volume. Thus far, 10.3 million shares of Petroleo Brasileiro SA Petrobras exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 17.4 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $12.15-$12.39 after having opened the day at $12.35 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $12.48.

Petroleo Brasileiro S.A. - Petrobras operates as an integrated oil and gas company in Brazil and internationally. Petroleo Brasileiro SA Petrobras has a market cap of $81.4 billion and is part of the energy industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 7.3, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 9.4% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are 3 analysts that rate Petroleo Brasileiro SA Petrobras a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 6 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Petroleo Brasileiro SA Petrobras as a hold. 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 notable return on equity. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including unimpressive growth in net income, poor profit margins and weak operating cash flow. Get the full Petroleo Brasileiro SA Petrobras Ratings Report now.

STOCKS TO BUY: 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, Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold ( FCX) is down $0.70 (-1.9%) to $35.48 on average volume. Thus far, 6.0 million shares of Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 10.3 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $35.42-$36.03 after having opened the day at $35.92 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $36.19.

Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc. engages in the exploration of mineral resource properties. The company primarily explores for copper, gold, molybdenum, cobalt, silver, and other metals, such as rhenium and magnetite. Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold has a market cap of $37.6 billion and is part of the metals & mining industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 13.2, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 4.1% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are 12 analysts that rate Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 3 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, good cash flow from operations, expanding profit margins 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 Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Ratings Report now.

STOCKS TO BUY: 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 4 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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