3 Stocks Pushing The Basic Materials Sector Higher

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 down today with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) trading down 86 points (-0.5%) at 16,084 as of Friday, April 11, 2014, 12:55 PM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,014 issues advancing vs. 1,941 declining with 158 unchanged.

The Basic Materials sector currently sits down 0.2% versus the S&P 500, which is down 0.3%. Top gainers within the sector include Buckeye Partners L.P ( BPL), up 2.6%, ConocoPhillips ( COP), up 1.8%, Pioneer Natural Resources Company ( PXD), up 1.8%, Energy Transfer Partners L.P ( ETP), up 1.8% and Magellan Midstream Partners L.P ( MMP), up 1.6%. On the negative front, top decliners within the sector include CF Industries Holdings ( CF), down 2.6%, Seadrill ( SDRL), down 2.2%, Transocean ( RIG), down 1.5%, BP ( BP), down 1.4% and Nucor ( NUE), down 1.2%.

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

3. Kinder Morgan Energy Partners ( KMP) is one of the companies pushing the Basic Materials sector higher today. As of noon trading, Kinder Morgan Energy Partners is up $0.69 (0.9%) to $77.45 on average volume. Thus far, 779,209 shares of Kinder Morgan Energy Partners exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1.7 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $75.81-$77.53 after having opened the day at $76.59 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $76.76.

Kinder Morgan Energy Partners, L.P. operates as a pipeline transportation and energy storage company in North America. Kinder Morgan Energy Partners has a market cap of $24.3 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are down 4.8% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 6 analysts who rate Kinder Morgan Energy Partners a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 7 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Kinder Morgan Energy Partners 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 notable return on equity. 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 Kinder Morgan Energy Partners Ratings Report now.

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2. As of noon trading, Noble Energy ( NBL) is up $0.69 (1.0%) to $70.22 on light volume. Thus far, 619,292 shares of Noble Energy exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2.3 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $69.23-$70.27 after having opened the day at $69.23 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $69.53.

Noble Energy, Inc., an independent energy company, is engaged in the exploration and production of oil and gas properties worldwide. Noble Energy has a market cap of $25.5 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are up 2.1% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 12 analysts who rate Noble Energy a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 8 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Noble Energy as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, good cash flow from operations, expanding profit margins, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures 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 Noble Energy 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, Southwestern Energy Company ( SWN) is up $0.62 (1.3%) to $47.02 on light volume. Thus far, 1.5 million shares of Southwestern Energy Company exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 4.6 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $46.28-$47.18 after having opened the day at $46.28 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $46.40.

Southwestern Energy Company, an independent energy company, is engaged in the exploration, development and production of natural gas and oil in the United States. The company operates in two segments, Exploration and Production, and Midstream Services. Southwestern Energy Company has a market cap of $16.4 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are up 18.0% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 8 analysts who rate Southwestern Energy Company a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 14 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, solid stock price performance, impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income and good cash flow from operations. Although the company may harbor some minor weaknesses, we feel they are unlikely to have a significant impact on results. Get the full Southwestern Energy 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 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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