Basic Materials Stocks On The Rise With Help From 3 Stocks

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 115 points (0.7%) at 16,388 as of Friday, Feb. 28, 2014, 11:55 AM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,987 issues advancing vs. 938 declining with 158 unchanged.

The Basic Materials sector currently sits up 0.3% versus the S&P 500, which is up 0.6%. Top gainers within the sector include Dril-Quip ( DRQ), up 12.6%, Halliburton Company ( HAL), up 2.4%, Imperial Oil ( IMO), up 2.1%, Cenovus Energy ( CVE), up 2.0% and Total ( TOT), up 1.8%. On the negative front, top decliners within the sector include Petroleo Brasileiro SA Petrobras ( PBR), down 2.4%, Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold ( FCX), down 1.9%, China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation ( SNP), down 1.3% and Valero Energy Corporation ( VLO), down 1.1%.

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

3. Monsanto Company ( MON) is one of the companies pushing the Basic Materials sector higher today. As of noon trading, Monsanto Company is up $0.82 (0.8%) to $109.70 on average volume. Thus far, 1.3 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 $108.57-$109.71 after having opened the day at $108.99 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $108.88.

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 $57.2 billion and is part of the chemicals industry. Shares are down 6.6% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 9 analysts who rate Monsanto Company a buy, no analysts rate 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 is trading at a premium valuation based on our review of its current price compared to such things as earnings and book value. 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.

If you liked this article you might like

Why Bayer's $66 Billion Takeover of Monsanto Probably Won't Happen Until 2018

Hurricane Maria Has Quickly Become Another Category 5 Storm

Democrats Target Megamergers in Populist Political Play

Bayer, Monsanto Merger Under Scrutiny by EU Commission

Monsanto's Confusing Weed Killer Instructions Drive Farmers to Court