3 Stocks Pushing The Basic Materials Sector Lower

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%. 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%. 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%.

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

3. Companhia Siderurgica Nacional ( SID) is one of the companies pushing the Basic Materials sector lower today. As of noon trading, Companhia Siderurgica Nacional is down $0.29 (-6.1%) to $4.46 on average volume. Thus far, 3.0 million shares of Companhia Siderurgica Nacional exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 5.6 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $4.45-$4.58 after having opened the day at $4.56 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $4.75.

Companhia Siderurgica Nacional operates as an integrated steel producer primarily in Brazil. The company principally produces carbon steel and various steel products for automotive, home appliance, packaging, construction, and steel processing industries. Companhia Siderurgica Nacional has a market cap of $6.6 billion and is part of the metals & mining industry. Shares are down 23.4% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are no analysts that rate Companhia Siderurgica Nacional a buy, 2 analysts rate it a sell, and 1 rates it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Companhia Siderurgica Nacional as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, notable return on equity and expanding profit margins. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself, generally higher debt management risk and weak operating cash flow. Get the full Companhia Siderurgica Nacional 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, MarkWest Energy Partners ( MWE) is down $4.06 (-6.0%) to $63.20 on heavy volume. Thus far, 2.2 million shares of MarkWest Energy Partners exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 829,500 shares. The stock has ranged in price between $62.91-$65.56 after having opened the day at $65.34 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $67.25.

Markwest Energy Partners, L.P., together with its subsidiaries, engages in the gathering, processing, and transportation of natural gas the United States. MarkWest Energy Partners has a market cap of $10.5 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are up 1.7% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 8 analysts that rate MarkWest Energy Partners a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 1 rates it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates MarkWest Energy Partners as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, good cash flow from operations and solid stock price performance. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income. Get the full MarkWest Energy Partners 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, Southwestern Energy Company ( SWN) is down $2.77 (-6.4%) to $40.37 on heavy volume. Thus far, 6.7 million shares of Southwestern Energy Company exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3.8 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $40.30-$41.47 after having opened the day at $41.01 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $43.14.

Southwestern Energy Company, an independent energy company, engages in the exploration, development, and production of natural gas and oil primarily in the United States. The company operates through two segments, Exploration and Production, and Midstream Services. Southwestern Energy Company has a market cap of $15.0 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are up 9.7% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 7 analysts that rate Southwestern Energy Company a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 17 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Southwestern Energy Company 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, expanding profit margins 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 Southwestern Energy Company 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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