3 Stocks Dragging In The Basic Materials Sector

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. 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%. 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%.

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

3. Barrick Gold ( ABX) is one of the companies pushing the Basic Materials sector lower today. As of noon trading, Barrick Gold is down $0.34 (-2.0%) to $16.51 on light volume. Thus far, 3.8 million shares of Barrick Gold exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 11.3 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $16.51-$16.82 after having opened the day at $16.82 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $16.85.

Barrick Gold Corporation produces and sells gold and copper. It is also involved in exploration and mine development activities. Barrick Gold has a market cap of $20.3 billion and is part of the metals & mining industry. Shares are down 4.4% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 2 analysts that rate Barrick Gold a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 15 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Barrick Gold as a sell. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its feeble growth in its earnings per share, deteriorating net income, disappointing return on equity, weak operating cash flow and generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself. Get the full Barrick Gold 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, Vale ( VALE) is down $0.18 (-1.3%) to $13.80 on average volume. Thus far, 9.8 million shares of Vale exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 21.1 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $13.62-$13.87 after having opened the day at $13.84 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $13.98.

Vale S.A. is engaged in the research, production, and sale of iron ore and pellets, nickel, fertilizer, copper, coal, manganese, ferroalloys, cobalt, platinum group metals, and precious metals. Vale has a market cap of $73.0 billion and is part of the metals & mining industry. Shares are down 8.3% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 5 analysts that rate Vale a buy, 2 analysts rate it a sell, and 7 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Vale as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its expanding profit margins and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself, deteriorating net income and disappointing return on equity. Get the full Vale 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, Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold ( FCX) is down $0.34 (-1.0%) to $34.86 on average volume. Thus far, 4.7 million shares of Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 10.3 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $34.52-$35.21 after having opened the day at $35.20 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $35.21.

Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc., a natural resource company, is engaged in the acquisition of mineral assets, and oil and natural gas resources. The company primarily explores for copper, gold, molybdenum, cobalt, silver, and other metals, as well as oil and gas. Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold has a market cap of $36.9 billion and is part of the metals & mining industry. Shares are down 6.7% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 11 analysts that rate Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 2 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, attractive valuation levels and good cash flow from operations. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including feeble growth in the company's earnings per share, deteriorating net income and generally higher debt management risk. Get the full Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold 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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