Today's Stocks Driving Success For The Basic Materials Sector

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 137 points (0.8%) at 16,460 as of Monday, March 31, 2014, 12:55 PM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 2,329 issues advancing vs. 681 declining with 134 unchanged.

The Basic Materials sector currently sits up 0.5% versus the S&P 500, which is up 0.9%. Top gainers within the sector include Alcoa ( AA), up 3.6%, Celanese Corporation ( CE), up 2.6%, YPF Sociedad Anonima ( YPF), up 2.3%, ArcelorMittal ( MT), up 1.9% and PPG Industries ( PPG), up 1.7%. On the negative front, top decliners within the sector include Axiall ( AXLL), down 17.5%, Anglogold Ashanti ( AU), down 3.2%, Goldcorp ( GG), down 2.1%, Barrick Gold Corporation ( ABX), down 2.0% and Continental Resources ( CLR), down 1.9%.

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

3. LyondellBasell Industries ( LYB) is one of the companies pushing the Basic Materials sector higher today. As of noon trading, LyondellBasell Industries is up $0.86 (1.0%) to $89.24 on light volume. Thus far, 1.0 million shares of LyondellBasell Industries exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3.6 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $88.87-$89.78 after having opened the day at $89.54 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $88.38.

LyondellBasell Industries N.V., together with its subsidiaries, manufactures chemicals and polymers; refines crude oil; produces gasoline blending components; and develops and licenses technologies for production of polymers. LyondellBasell Industries has a market cap of $47.4 billion and is part of the chemicals industry. Shares are up 10.1% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are 11 analysts who rate LyondellBasell Industries a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 3 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates LyondellBasell Industries as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income, revenue growth and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins. Get the full LyondellBasell Industries 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.

2. As of noon trading, Monsanto Company ( MON) is up $1.18 (1.1%) to $113.50 on light volume. Thus far, 748,147 shares of Monsanto Company exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2.8 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $111.78-$113.65 after having opened the day at $113.01 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $112.32.

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 $58.2 billion and is part of the chemicals industry. Shares are down 3.6% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are 10 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 growth in earnings per share, revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, 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.

1. As of noon trading, Dow Chemical ( DOW) is up $0.48 (1.0%) to $48.68 on light volume. Thus far, 2.5 million shares of Dow Chemical exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 10.2 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $48.44-$48.86 after having opened the day at $48.59 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $48.20.

The Dow Chemical Company manufactures and supplies chemical products for use as raw materials in the manufacture of customer products and services worldwide. Dow Chemical has a market cap of $58.3 billion and is part of the chemicals industry. Shares are up 8.6% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are 3 analysts who rate Dow Chemical a buy, 2 analysts rate it a sell, and 11 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Dow Chemical as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its compelling growth in net income, revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, solid stock price performance and attractive valuation levels. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins. Get the full Dow Chemical 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 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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