5 Stocks Boosting The Basic Materials 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 down 56 points (-0.3%) at 15,939 as of Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2014, 11:55 AM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,598 issues advancing vs. 1,323 declining with 154 unchanged.

The Basic Materials sector currently sits up 0.3% versus the S&P 500, which is down 0.1%. Top gainers within the sector include Valspar Corporation ( VAL), up 6.3%, Continental Resources ( CLR), up 2.6%, Canadian Natural Resources ( CNQ), up 2.2%, Imperial Oil ( IMO), up 2.0% and Enbridge ( ENB), up 2.0%. On the negative front, top decliners within the sector include Seadrill ( SDRL), down 3.7%, Williams Companies ( WMB), down 2.2%, Newmont Mining Corporation ( NEM), down 2.0%, Gerdau ( GGB), down 1.9% and Goldcorp ( GG), down 1.6%.

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

5. Talisman Energy ( TLM) is one of the companies pushing the Basic Materials sector higher today. As of noon trading, Talisman Energy is up $0.39 (3.7%) to $11.00 on heavy volume. Thus far, 6.2 million shares of Talisman Energy exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 4.0 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $10.34-$11.07 after having opened the day at $10.45 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $10.61.

Talisman Energy Inc., an upstream oil and gas company, engages in the exploration, development, production, transportation, and marketing of crude oil, natural gas, and natural gas liquids. Talisman Energy has a market cap of $10.9 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are down 8.9% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 4 analysts who rate Talisman Energy a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 8 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Talisman Energy as a sell. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself and generally high debt management risk. Get the full Talisman Energy 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, Total ( TOT) is up $0.63 (1.1%) to $59.78 on heavy volume. Thus far, 1.1 million shares of Total exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 981,400 shares. The stock has ranged in price between $59.24-$59.87 after having opened the day at $59.27 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $59.15.

TOTAL S.A., together with its subsidiaries, operates as a oil and gas company worldwide. The company operates in three segments: Upstream, Refining and Chemicals, and Marketing and Services. Total has a market cap of $132.5 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are down 3.5% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 5 analysts who rate Total a buy, 2 analysts rate it a sell, and 1 rates it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Total as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, attractive valuation levels, good cash flow from operations, increase in stock price during the past year 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 disappointing return on equity. Get the full Total 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, Energy Transfer Equity ( ETE) is up $0.93 (2.3%) to $42.12 on light volume. Thus far, 208,522 shares of Energy Transfer Equity exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1.7 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $41.17-$42.12 after having opened the day at $41.30 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $41.19.

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 $23.2 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are up 0.8% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. 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.

2. As of noon trading, Royal Dutch Shell ( RDS.B) is up $0.64 (0.9%) to $74.85 on heavy volume. Thus far, 853,209 shares of Royal Dutch Shell exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1.1 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $74.54-$75.01 after having opened the day at $74.57 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $74.21.

Royal Dutch Shell plc operates as an independent oil and gas company worldwide. The company explores for and extracts crude oil, natural gas, and natural gas liquids. Royal Dutch Shell has a market cap of $232.3 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are unchanged year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Royal Dutch Shell as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its reasonable 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 has had sub par growth in net income. Get the full Royal Dutch Shell 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, Nucor ( NUE) is up $1.12 (2.3%) to $50.02 on average volume. Thus far, 1.3 million shares of Nucor exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1.8 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $49.12-$50.08 after having opened the day at $49.12 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $48.90.

Nucor Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, engages in the manufacture and sale of steel and steel products in North America and internationally. It operates through three segments: Steel Mills, Steel Products, and Raw Materials. Nucor has a market cap of $15.3 billion and is part of the metals & mining industry. Shares are down 8.4% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 7 analysts who rate Nucor a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 6 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Nucor as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, increase in net income, good cash flow from operations, growth in earnings per share and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins. Get the full Nucor 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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