3 Basic Materials Stocks Pushing The 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 up today with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) trading up 87 points (0.5%) at 16,606 as of Thursday, May 8, 2014, 12:55 PM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,938 issues advancing vs. 1,065 declining with 159 unchanged.

The Basic Materials sector currently sits down 0.4% versus the S&P 500, which is up 0.5%. Top gainers within the sector include Total ( TOT), up 1.9%, Spectra Energy ( SE), up 1.6%, China Petroleum & Chemical ( SNP), up 1.0%, PetroChina ( PTR), up 0.8% and Royal Dutch Shell ( RDS.B), up 0.7%. On the negative front, top decliners within the sector include Continental Resources ( CLR), down 5.7%, Sunoco Logistics Partners ( SXL), down 3.3%, Plains All American Pipeline ( PAA), down 3.1%, Devon Energy ( DVN), down 2.8% and Energy Transfer Partners ( ETP), down 2.3%.

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

3. E I du Pont de Nemours & Company ( DD) is one of the companies pushing the Basic Materials sector higher today. As of noon trading, E I du Pont de Nemours & Company is up $0.51 (0.8%) to $68.56 on light volume. Thus far, 1.2 million shares of E I du Pont de Nemours & Company exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 4.0 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $67.97-$68.72 after having opened the day at $68.00 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $68.05.

E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company operates as a science and technology based company worldwide. Its Agriculture segment provides corn hybrid, soybean, canola, sunflower, sorghum, inoculants, wheat, and rice seed products under the Pioneer brand; and herbicides, fungicides, and insecticides. E I du Pont de Nemours & Company has a market cap of $61.7 billion and is part of the chemicals industry. Shares are up 4.7% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 5 analysts who rate E I du Pont de Nemours & Company a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 9 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates E I du Pont de Nemours & Company as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, expanding profit margins, good cash flow from operations, growth in earnings per share 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 E I du Pont de Nemours & 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.

2. As of noon trading, Monsanto ( MON) is up $0.70 (0.6%) to $116.64 on light volume. Thus far, 977,992 shares of Monsanto exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2.9 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $115.51-$116.69 after having opened the day at $115.84 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $115.94.

Monsanto Company, together with its subsidiaries, provides agricultural products for farmers worldwide. It operates in two segments, Seeds and Genomics, and Agricultural Productivity. Monsanto has a market cap of $59.8 billion and is part of the chemicals industry. Shares are down 0.5% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 13 analysts who rate Monsanto a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 4 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Monsanto as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its growth in earnings per share, increase in net income, revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and expanding profit margins. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow. Get the full Monsanto 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 $0.30 (0.6%) to $49.82 on heavy volume. Thus far, 6.4 million shares of Dow Chemical exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 8.1 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $49.45-$50.14 after having opened the day at $49.45 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $49.52.

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 $59.1 billion and is part of the chemicals industry. Shares are up 11.5% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. 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 reasonable 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).

null

More from Markets

Trump, China Trade, Target and Las Vegas Casinos - 5 Things You Must Know

Trump, China Trade, Target and Las Vegas Casinos - 5 Things You Must Know

Global Rally Stalls as Trump Doubts North Korea Summit, Questions China Trade

Global Rally Stalls as Trump Doubts North Korea Summit, Questions China Trade

Target Slumps After Q1 Earnings Miss as Comparable Sales Slow, Traffic Improves

Target Slumps After Q1 Earnings Miss as Comparable Sales Slow, Traffic Improves

Pound Slides as Inflation Slows, Doubts Grow Over Bank of England Rate Hikes

Pound Slides as Inflation Slows, Doubts Grow Over Bank of England Rate Hikes

Lowe's Snags Ex-Home Depot Exec as CEO; ISPs Face Competitive Threat -- ICYMI

Lowe's Snags Ex-Home Depot Exec as CEO; ISPs Face Competitive Threat -- ICYMI