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.

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 16,797 as of Wednesday, June 18, 2014, 12:55 PM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,344 issues advancing vs. 1,611 declining with 185 unchanged.

The Basic Materials sector currently sits up 0.2% versus the S&P 500, which is unchanged. Top gainers within the sector include Southern Copper ( SCCO), up 2.4%, Anadarko Petroleum ( APC), up 1.2%, BP ( BP), up 1.2%, Total ( TOT), up 0.9% and Petroleo Brasileiro SA Petrobras ( PBR.A), up 0.6%. On the negative front, top decliners within the sector include YPF Sociedad Anonima ( YPF), down 4.8%, Access Midstream Partners ( ACMP), down 3.2%, Magellan Midstream Partners L.P ( MMP), down 2.2%, Enterprise Products Partners ( EPD), down 1.8% and Enbridge ( ENB), down 1.2%.

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

3. Royal Dutch Shell ( RDS.A) is one of the companies pushing the Basic Materials sector higher today. As of noon trading, Royal Dutch Shell is up $1.16 (1.4%) to $81.60 on average volume. Thus far, 1.2 million shares of Royal Dutch Shell exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2.2 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $81.43-$81.76 after having opened the day at $81.62 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $80.45.

Royal Dutch Shell plc operates as an independent oil and gas company worldwide. The company explores for and extracts crude oil, natural gas, and natural gas liquids. Royal Dutch Shell has a market cap of $257.5 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are up 12.9% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Royal Dutch Shell as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its attractive valuation levels, good cash flow from operations, solid stock price performance and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income. Get the full Royal Dutch Shell 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, Vale ( VALE) is up $0.18 (1.4%) to $12.81 on average volume. Thus far, 13.0 million shares of Vale exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 19.0 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $12.62-$12.86 after having opened the day at $12.64 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $12.63.

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 $65.6 billion and is part of the metals & mining industry. Shares are down 17.2% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 5 analysts who 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 good cash flow from operations, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and expanding profit margins. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including deteriorating net income, disappointing return on equity and a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself. Get the full Vale 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 $0.44 (1.3%) to $34.49 on average volume. Thus far, 3.3 million shares of Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 8.2 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $33.90-$34.50 after having opened the day at $34.08 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $34.05.

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 $35.3 billion and is part of the metals & mining industry. Shares are down 9.8% 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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