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 16 points (0.1%) at 16,738 as of Wednesday, June 4, 2014, 12:55 PM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,399 issues advancing vs. 1,611 declining with 145 unchanged.

The Basic Materials sector currently sits up 0.2% versus the S&P 500, which is up 0.1%. Top gainers within the sector include Williams Partners ( WPZ), up 1.3%, Kinder Morgan ( KMI), up 1.0%, E I du Pont de Nemours & Company ( DD), up 0.8% and Apache Corporation ( APA), up 0.7%. On the negative front, top decliners within the sector include Total ( TOT), down 1.4%, Petroleo Brasileiro SA Petrobras ( PBR), down 1.4%, China Petroleum & Chemical ( SNP), down 1.3%, Valero Energy ( VLO), down 1.2% and TransCanada ( TRP), down 0.9%.

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

3. Kinder Morgan Energy Partners ( KMP) is one of the companies pushing the Basic Materials sector higher today. As of noon trading, Kinder Morgan Energy Partners is up $1.16 (1.5%) to $77.89 on average volume. Thus far, 948,854 shares of Kinder Morgan Energy Partners exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1.3 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $76.74-$77.91 after having opened the day at $76.75 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $76.73.

Kinder Morgan Energy Partners, L.P. operates as a pipeline transportation and energy storage company in North America. Kinder Morgan Energy Partners has a market cap of $24.5 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are down 4.9% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 5 analysts who rate Kinder Morgan Energy Partners a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 8 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Kinder Morgan Energy Partners as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, good cash flow from operations and expanding profit margins. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself. Get the full Kinder Morgan Energy Partners 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, PPG Industries ( PPG) is up $2.14 (1.1%) to $203.86 on average volume. Thus far, 291,735 shares of PPG Industries exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 713,700 shares. The stock has ranged in price between $200.07-$203.87 after having opened the day at $201.63 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $201.72.

PPG Industries, Inc. manufactures and distributes coatings, optical and specialty materials, and glass products. The company operates in five segments: Performance Coatings, Industrial Coatings, Architectural Coatings, Optical and Specialty Materials, and Glass. PPG Industries has a market cap of $28.0 billion and is part of the chemicals industry. Shares are up 6.4% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 10 analysts who rate PPG Industries a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 4 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates PPG Industries as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, expanding profit margins, good cash flow from operations and impressive record of earnings per share growth. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income. Get the full PPG Industries 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, Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold ( FCX) is up $0.48 (1.4%) to $34.55 on average volume. Thus far, 4.6 million shares of Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 9.5 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $33.84-$34.60 after having opened the day at $33.97 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $34.07.

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 $35.4 billion and is part of the metals & mining industry. Shares are down 9.7% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 11 analysts who 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 deteriorating net income, generally higher debt management risk and disappointing return on equity. Get the full Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold 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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