Basic Materials Stocks On The Rise With Help From 3 Stocks

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 lower today with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) trading down 12 points (-0.1%) at 16,435 as of Friday, May 16, 2014, 12:55 PM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,512 issues advancing vs. 1,401 declining with 184 unchanged.

The Basic Materials sector currently sits down 0.2% versus the S&P 500, which is unchanged. Top gainers within the sector include Sociedad Quimica Y Minera De Chile ( SQM), up 3.9%, Total ( TOT), up 1.5%, Kinder Morgan Energy Partners ( KMP), up 1.4%, National Oilwell Varco ( NOV), up 1.4% and Energy Transfer Equity ( ETE), up 1.2%. On the negative front, top decliners within the sector include Chesapeake Energy ( CHK), down 4.5%, Valero Energy ( VLO), down 1.3%, Continental Resources ( CLR), down 1.3% and Marathon Petroleum ( MPC), down 1.2%.

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 $0.70 (0.7%) to $95.94 on light volume. Thus far, 1.0 million shares of LyondellBasell Industries exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3.2 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $94.64-$95.99 after having opened the day at $95.30 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $95.24.

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 $50.9 billion and is part of the chemicals industry. Shares are up 18.6% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday. 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, growth in earnings per share, increase 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.

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2. As of noon trading, Monsanto ( MON) is up $0.65 (0.6%) to $116.05 on light volume. Thus far, 889,968 shares of Monsanto exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2.8 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $115.21-$116.25 after having opened the day at $115.25 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $115.40.

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 $61.3 billion and is part of the chemicals industry. Shares are down 1.0% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday. 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.

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1. As of noon trading, Dow Chemical ( DOW) is up $0.28 (0.6%) to $48.90 on average volume. Thus far, 3.4 million shares of Dow Chemical exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 8.3 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $48.12-$49.00 after having opened the day at $48.65 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $48.61.

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 $60.4 billion and is part of the chemicals industry. Shares are up 9.5% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday. 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).
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