NEM, MPC And VLO, 3 Basic Materials Stocks Pushing The 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.

Two out of the three major indices are trading up today with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) trading up 91 points (0.6%) at 16,492 as of Wednesday, May 7, 2014, 12:55 PM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,744 issues advancing vs. 1,239 declining with 163 unchanged.

The Basic Materials sector currently sits down 0.4% versus the S&P 500, which is up 0.3%. On the negative front, top decliners within the sector include CGG ( CGG), down 10.2%, and China Petroleum & Chemical ( SNP), down 1.8%. Top gainers within the sector include Cimarex Energy ( XEC), up 9.2%, Talisman Energy ( TLM), up 6.0%, YPF Sociedad Anonima ( YPF), up 5.7%, Pioneer Natural Resources ( PXD), up 4.8% and Encana ( ECA), up 4.2%.

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

3. Newmont Mining ( NEM) is one of the companies pushing the Basic Materials sector lower today. As of noon trading, Newmont Mining is down $0.70 (-2.9%) to $23.90 on average volume. Thus far, 3.9 million shares of Newmont Mining exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 9.6 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $23.88-$24.29 after having opened the day at $24.27 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $24.60.

Newmont Mining Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, acquires, explores for, and produces gold, copper, and silver deposits. The company's assets or operations are located in the United States, Australia, Peru, Indonesia, Ghana, New Zealand, Mexico, and Suriname. Newmont Mining has a market cap of $12.4 billion and is part of the metals & mining industry. Shares are up 6.8% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 2 analysts that rate Newmont Mining a buy, 4 analysts rate it a sell, and 11 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Newmont Mining as a sell. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its deteriorating net income, disappointing return on equity, weak operating cash flow, generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself and feeble growth in its earnings per share. Get the full Newmont Mining 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, Marathon Petroleum ( MPC) is down $1.04 (-1.1%) to $95.65 on light volume. Thus far, 1.2 million shares of Marathon Petroleum exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3.4 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $94.65-$96.81 after having opened the day at $96.47 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $96.69.

Marathon Petroleum Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, is engaged in refining, transporting, and marketing petroleum products primarily in the United States. It operates through three segments: Refining & Marketing, Speedway, and Pipeline Transportation. Marathon Petroleum has a market cap of $28.1 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are up 5.4% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 10 analysts that rate Marathon Petroleum a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 2 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Marathon Petroleum as a buy. Among the primary strengths of the company is its 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 Marathon Petroleum 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, Valero Energy ( VLO) is down $0.97 (-1.7%) to $57.54 on average volume. Thus far, 3.1 million shares of Valero Energy exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 7.5 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $57.06-$58.70 after having opened the day at $58.68 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $58.51.

Valero Energy Corporation operates as an independent petroleum refining and marketing company in the United States, Canada, the Caribbean, the United Kingdom, and Ireland. It operates through two segments, Refining and Ethanol. Valero Energy has a market cap of $31.0 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are up 16.1% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 9 analysts that rate Valero Energy a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 4 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Valero Energy as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, attractive valuation levels, solid stock price performance and growth in earnings per share. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat disappointing return on equity. Get the full Valero Energy 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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