3 Stocks Dragging The Basic Materials Sector Downward

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 37 points (0.2%) at 16,217 as of Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2014, 11:55 AM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,992 issues advancing vs. 910 declining with 172 unchanged.

The Basic Materials sector currently sits down 0.1% versus the S&P 500, which is up 0.3%. On the negative front, top decliners within the sector include Apache Corporation ( APA), down 3.4%, Ecopetrol S.A ( EC), down 3.4%, Barrick Gold Corporation ( ABX), down 2.2%, Kinder Morgan ( KMI), down 1.9% and Goldcorp ( GG), down 1.5%. Top gainers within the sector include China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation ( SNP), up 3.6%, Alcoa ( AA), up 2.8%, EOG Resources ( EOG), up 2.1%, Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold ( FCX), up 2.1% and Seadrill ( SDRL), up 1.8%.

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

3. Suncor Energy ( SU) is one of the companies pushing the Basic Materials sector lower today. As of noon trading, Suncor Energy is down $0.20 (-0.6%) to $33.08 on light volume. Thus far, 1.2 million shares of Suncor Energy exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3.6 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $33.00-$33.22 after having opened the day at $33.22 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $33.28.

Suncor Energy Inc., together with its subsidiaries, operates as an integrated energy company. Suncor Energy has a market cap of $49.3 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are down 5.0% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 12 analysts that rate Suncor Energy a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 3 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Suncor Energy as a hold. 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 and reasonable valuation levels. However, as a counter to these strengths, we find that the company's profit margins have been poor overall. Get the full Suncor Energy 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, Royal Dutch Shell PLC ADR Class A ( RDS.A) is down $0.39 (-0.5%) to $72.90 on light volume. Thus far, 579,032 shares of Royal Dutch Shell PLC ADR Class A exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2.8 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $72.67-$73.07 after having opened the day at $72.98 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $73.29.

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 PLC ADR Class A has a market cap of $234.3 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are up 2.8% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Royal Dutch Shell PLC ADR Class A 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 PLC ADR Class A 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, Chesapeake Energy ( CHK) is down $1.80 (-6.7%) to $25.14 on heavy volume. Thus far, 14.3 million shares of Chesapeake Energy exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 9.3 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $24.75-$26.10 after having opened the day at $26.10 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $26.94.

Chesapeake Energy Corporation engages in the acquisition, exploration, development, and production of natural gas and oil properties in the United States. The company also offers marketing, midstream, drilling, and other oilfield services. Chesapeake Energy has a market cap of $18.2 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are down 0.7% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 5 analysts that rate Chesapeake Energy a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 19 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Chesapeake Energy as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, solid stock price performance, reasonable valuation levels, good cash flow from operations and compelling growth in net income. 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 Chesapeake Energy 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 3 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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