United States Steel Corp (X): 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.

United States Steel ( X) pushed the Basic Materials sector lower today making it today's featured Basic Materials laggard. The sector as a whole closed the day down 0.6%. By the end of trading, United States Steel fell $0.78 (-2.9%) to $25.73 on average volume. Throughout the day, 6,052,064 shares of United States Steel exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 6,614,800 shares. The stock ranged in price between $25.42-$26.39 after having opened the day at $26.29 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $26.51. Other companies within the Basic Materials sector that declined today were: Gulf Resources ( GURE), down 12.0%, China Natural Resources ( CHNR), down 8.6%, National Oilwell Varco ( NOV), down 7.4% and New Concept Energy ( GBR), down 7.1%.

United States Steel Corporation produces and sells flat-rolled and tubular steel products in North America and Europe. The company operates in three segments: Flat-Rolled Products (Flat-Rolled), U. S. Steel Europe (USSE), and Tubular Products (Tubular). United States Steel has a market cap of $4.0 billion and is part of the metals & mining industry. Shares are down 10.1% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are 5 analysts that rate United States Steel a buy, 3 analysts rate it a sell, and 6 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates United States Steel as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, increase in net income and growth in earnings per share. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including generally higher debt management risk, disappointing return on equity and weak operating cash flow.

On the positive front, Magellan Petroleum ( MPET), up 10.9%, Metabolix ( MBLX), up 8.5%, Polymet Mining ( PLM), up 7.0% and Quicksilver Resources ( KWK), up 6.8% , were all gainers within the basic materials sector with Valero Energy ( 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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