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.

Two out of the three major indices are trading lower today with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) trading down 28 points (-0.2%) at 16,647 as of Wednesday, May 28, 2014, 12:55 PM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,518 issues advancing vs. 1,472 declining with 153 unchanged.

The Basic Materials sector currently sits down 0.3% versus the S&P 500, which is unchanged. Top gainers within the sector include Westlake Chemical ( WLK), up 2.8%, Valero Energy ( VLO), up 1.5%, Occidental Petroleum ( OXY), up 1.5%, China Petroleum & Chemical ( SNP), up 1.3% and ConocoPhillips ( COP), up 1.1%. On the negative front, top decliners within the sector include Transocean ( RIG), down 2.1%, Barrick Gold ( ABX), down 1.8%, Total ( TOT), down 1.0%, Imperial Oil ( IMO), down 0.9% and Halliburton ( HAL), down 0.8%.

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

3. Apache Corporation ( APA) is one of the companies pushing the Basic Materials sector higher today. As of noon trading, Apache Corporation is up $1.44 (1.6%) to $91.80 on heavy volume. Thus far, 2.4 million shares of Apache Corporation exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3.2 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $90.62-$91.87 after having opened the day at $90.62 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $90.36.

Apache Corporation, an independent energy company, explores for, develops, and produces natural gas, crude oil, and natural gas liquids. Apache Corporation has a market cap of $34.8 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are up 4.9% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 10 analysts who rate Apache Corporation a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 12 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Apache Corporation as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its expanding profit margins, increase in stock price during the past year, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income. Get the full Apache Corporation Ratings Report now.

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