MarkWest Energy Partners LP (MWE): Today's Featured Basic Materials Laggard

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.

MarkWest Energy Partners ( MWE) pushed the Basic Materials sector lower today making it today's featured Basic Materials laggard. The sector as a whole closed the day up 1.0%. By the end of trading, MarkWest Energy Partners fell $1.10 (-1.7%) to $64.60 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 4,840,366 shares of MarkWest Energy Partners exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 903,100 shares. The stock ranged in price between $63.86-$65.79 after having opened the day at $64.28 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $65.70. Other companies within the Basic Materials sector that declined today were: BioFuel Energy Corporation ( BIOF), down 13.9%, PostRock Energy ( PSTR), down 8.8%, International Tower Hill Mines ( THM), down 8.8% and USEC ( USU), down 8.2%.

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 $10.3 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are down 1.3% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 4 analysts that rate MarkWest Energy Partners a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 6 rate 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 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.

On the positive front, China Precision Steel ( CPSL), up 94.3%, Ikonics Corporation ( IKNX), up 18.2%, Ossen Innovation ( OSN), up 18.1% and Tasman Metals ( TAS), up 17.6% , were all gainers within the basic materials sector with Valero Energy Corporation ( VLO) 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).

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12-months. Learn more.

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