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.

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, Petroleo Brasileiro SA Petrobras ( PBR) is up $0.08 (0.6%) to $14.70 on light volume. Thus far, 8.6 million shares of Petroleo Brasileiro SA Petrobras exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 25.1 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $14.42-$14.74 after having opened the day at $14.64 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $14.62.

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 $97.2 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are up 6.1% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. 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.

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 $0.52 (1.0%) to $51.45 on average volume. Thus far, 3.5 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 $50.80-$51.59 after having opened the day at $50.81 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $50.93.

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 $61.0 billion and is part of the chemicals industry. Shares are up 14.7% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. 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.

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

Apple and GE Switch Roles; Musk's Super Control of Tesla Explained -- ICYMI

Apple and GE Switch Roles; Musk's Super Control of Tesla Explained -- ICYMI

Trump May Be More to Blame For Higher Oil Prices Than OPEC

Trump May Be More to Blame For Higher Oil Prices Than OPEC

Dow Falls Over 200 Points as Apple's Slump Offsets Gains in General Electric

Dow Falls Over 200 Points as Apple's Slump Offsets Gains in General Electric

Week Ahead: Major Earnings on Tap as Wall Street Readies for Geopolitical Moves

Week Ahead: Major Earnings on Tap as Wall Street Readies for Geopolitical Moves

3 Hot Reads From TheStreet's Top Premium Columnists

3 Hot Reads From TheStreet's Top Premium Columnists