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.

All three major indices are trading up today with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) trading up 60 points (0.4%) at 16,603 as of Friday, May 23, 2014, 12:55 PM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 2,002 issues advancing vs. 938 declining with 179 unchanged.

The Basic Materials sector currently sits up 0.3% versus the S&P 500, which is up 0.3%. Top gainers within the sector include YPF Sociedad Anonima ( YPF), up 2.0%, Alcoa ( AA), up 1.7%, Tenaris ( TS), up 1.4%, Teck Resources ( TCK), up 1.4% and Southern Copper ( SCCO), up 1.4%. On the negative front, top decliners within the sector include Gerdau ( GGB), down 1.8%, Goldcorp ( GG), down 1.4%, Ecopetrol ( EC), down 1.0%, POSCO ( PKX), down 1.0% and Royal Dutch Shell ( RDS.A), down 0.6%.

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

3. Petroleo Brasileiro SA Petrobras ( PBR) is one of the companies pushing the Basic Materials sector higher today. As of noon trading, Petroleo Brasileiro SA Petrobras is up $0.11 (0.7%) to $15.02 on light volume. Thus far, 5.9 million shares of Petroleo Brasileiro SA Petrobras exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 25.5 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $14.87-$15.15 after having opened the day at $14.93 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $14.91.

Petroleo Brasileiro S.A. - Petrobras operates as an integrated oil and gas company in Brazil and internationally. Petroleo Brasileiro SA Petrobras has a market cap of $97.7 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are up 8.2% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 3 analysts who rate Petroleo Brasileiro SA Petrobras a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 6 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Petroleo Brasileiro SA Petrobras as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its attractive valuation levels, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and notable return on equity. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including deteriorating net income, poor profit margins and weak operating cash flow. Get the full Petroleo Brasileiro SA Petrobras Ratings Report now.

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2. As of noon trading, Dow Chemical ( DOW) is up $0.53 (1.1%) to $50.31 on light volume. Thus far, 2.2 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 $49.76-$50.50 after having opened the day at $49.77 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $49.78.

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 $60.1 billion and is part of the chemicals industry. Shares are up 12.1% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 4 analysts who rate Dow Chemical a buy, 2 analysts rate it a sell, and 10 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.

1. As of noon trading, Halliburton ( HAL) is up $0.90 (1.4%) to $64.31 on light volume. Thus far, 2.6 million shares of Halliburton exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 7.6 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $63.14-$64.41 after having opened the day at $63.53 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $63.41.

Halliburton Company provides a range of services and products for the exploration, development, and production of oil and natural gas to oil and gas companies worldwide. The company operates in two segments, Completion and Production, and Drilling and Evaluation. Halliburton has a market cap of $53.3 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are up 24.9% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 20 analysts who rate Halliburton a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 4 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Halliburton as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its compelling growth in net income, revenue growth, solid stock price performance, good cash flow from operations and impressive record of earnings per share growth. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins. Get the full Halliburton 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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