Continental Resources Inc (CLR): Today's Featured Basic Materials Laggard

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Continental Resources ( CLR) pushed the Basic Materials sector lower today making it today's featured Basic Materials laggard. The sector as a whole closed the day up 0.7%. By the end of trading, Continental Resources fell $2.16 (-1.8%) to $118.42 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 2,544,300 shares of Continental Resources exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1,167,700 shares. The stock ranged in price between $115.09-$121.54 after having opened the day at $117.56 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $120.58. Other companies within the Basic Materials sector that declined today were: Swift Energy Company ( SFY), down 16.1%, China Gengsheng Minerals ( CHGS), down 12.0%, CGG ( CGG), down 7.3% and Houston American Energy Corporation ( HUSA), down 7.0%.

Continental Resources, Inc. engages in the exploration, development, and production of crude oil and natural gas properties in the north, south, and east regions of the United States. Continental Resources has a market cap of $22.9 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are up 7.2% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 15 analysts that rate Continental Resources a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 7 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Continental Resources as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income, expanding profit margins and good cash flow from operations. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had generally high debt management risk by most measures that we evaluated.

On the positive front, BioFuel Energy Corporation ( BIOF), up 83.1%, Pacific Ethanol ( PEIX), up 65.5%, KiOR ( KIOR), up 30.4% and Mines Management ( MGN), up 27.8% , were all gainers within the basic materials sector with LyondellBasell Industries ( LYB) being today's featured basic materials sector leader.

For investors not wanting singular stock exposure, 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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