5 Basic Materials Stocks Nudging 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.

All three major indices are trading up today with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) trading up 80 points (0.5%) at 15,453 as of Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2014, 11:55 AM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 2,024 issues advancing vs. 894 declining with 170 unchanged.

The Basic Materials sector currently sits up 0.5% versus the S&P 500, which is up 0.7%. Top gainers within the sector include YPF Sociedad Anonima ( YPF), up 5.5%, Pioneer Natural Resources Company ( PXD), up 4.3%, Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation ( COG), up 3.5%, Encana ( ECA), up 3.2% and Range Resources Corporation ( RRC), up 3.2%. On the negative front, top decliners within the sector include Helmerich & Payne ( HP), down 3.2%, Valero Energy Corporation ( VLO), down 2.4%, Phillips 66 ( PSX), down 1.3%, Suncor Energy ( SU), down 1.1% and Barrick Gold Corporation ( ABX), down 0.9%.

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

5. Vale ( VALE) is one of the companies pushing the Basic Materials sector higher today. As of noon trading, Vale is up $0.32 (2.4%) to $13.50 on light volume. Thus far, 6.6 million shares of Vale exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 18.1 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $13.25-$13.56 after having opened the day at $13.34 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $13.18.

Vale S.A. engages in the research, production, and marketing of iron ore and pellets, nickel, fertilizers, copper, coal, manganese, ferroalloys, cobalt, platinum group metals, and precious metals in Brazil and internationally. Vale has a market cap of $70.1 billion and is part of the metals & mining industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 12.7, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 13.6% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are 6 analysts who rate Vale a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 5 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Vale as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, increase in net income and attractive valuation levels. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself, disappointing return on equity and weak operating cash flow. Get the full Vale 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, E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Company ( DD) is up $1.83 (3.0%) to $61.82 on heavy volume. Thus far, 6.1 million shares of E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Company exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 4.2 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $60.36-$62.00 after having opened the day at $61.14 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $59.99.

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 $56.5 billion and is part of the chemicals industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 20.1, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 7.7% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are 5 analysts who rate E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Company a buy, 2 analysts rate it a sell, and 8 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, impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income, revenue growth and good cash flow from operations. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat disappointing return on equity. 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.

3. As of noon trading, LyondellBasell Industries ( LYB) is up $1.54 (2.0%) to $78.75 on average volume. Thus far, 1.5 million shares of LyondellBasell Industries exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3.4 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $77.17-$78.77 after having opened the day at $77.59 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $77.21.

LyondellBasell Industries N.V., together with its subsidiaries, manufacturers and sells chemicals and polymers; refines crude oil; produces gasoline blending components; and develops and licenses technologies for the production of polymers. LyondellBasell Industries has a market cap of $43.6 billion and is part of the chemicals industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 11.7, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 3.8% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are 11 analysts who rate LyondellBasell Industries a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 3 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates LyondellBasell Industries as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, notable return on equity, growth in earnings per share and increase in net income. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins. Get the full LyondellBasell Industries 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, Monsanto Company ( MON) is up $1.55 (1.5%) to $106.18 on average volume. Thus far, 1.1 million shares of Monsanto Company exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2.6 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $104.86-$106.62 after having opened the day at $105.00 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $104.63.

Monsanto Company, together with its subsidiaries, provides agricultural products for farmers worldwide. It operates in two segments, Seeds and Genomics, and Agricultural Productivity. Monsanto Company has a market cap of $55.9 billion and is part of the chemicals industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 23.0, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 10.2% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are 10 analysts who rate Monsanto Company a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 5 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Monsanto Company 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, notable return on equity, expanding profit margins and good cash flow from operations. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself. Get the full Monsanto 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, Dow Chemical ( DOW) is up $0.56 (1.2%) to $45.25 on light volume. Thus far, 3.6 million shares of Dow Chemical exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 10.1 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $44.85-$45.50 after having opened the day at $45.37 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $44.69.

The Dow Chemical Company manufactures and supplies chemical products for use as raw materials worldwide. Dow Chemical has a market cap of $55.2 billion and is part of the chemicals industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 18.4, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 0.7% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are 3 analysts who rate Dow Chemical a buy, 2 analysts rate it a sell, and 11 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Dow Chemical 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, attractive valuation levels and good cash flow from operations. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins. Get the full Dow Chemical 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).

null

More from Markets

Asia Markets Fall on Latest Tariff Threats From Trump

Asia Markets Fall on Latest Tariff Threats From Trump

Google Invests in JD.com; Comcast-Disney Battle Nears Head -- ICYMI

Google Invests in JD.com; Comcast-Disney Battle Nears Head -- ICYMI

REPLAY: Jim Cramer on Tariff Worries, Oil, Alphabet and Centene

REPLAY: Jim Cramer on Tariff Worries, Oil, Alphabet and Centene

Video: Athens Stock Exchange CEO on What's Next for Greece's Debt Woes

Video: Athens Stock Exchange CEO on What's Next for Greece's Debt Woes

Dow Drops Over 100 Points on Trade War Worries

Dow Drops Over 100 Points on Trade War Worries