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.

One out of the three major indices are trading lower today with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) trading up 34 points (0.2%) at 16,956 as of Friday, June 20, 2014, 12:55 PM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,547 issues advancing vs. 1,406 declining with 177 unchanged.

The Basic Materials sector currently sits down 0.1% versus the S&P 500, which is up 0.1%. Top gainers within the sector include Western Gas Equity Partners ( WGP), up 3.5%, Energy Transfer Equity ( ETE), up 2.9%, Crescent Point Energy ( CPG), up 2.3%, Kinder Morgan ( KMI), up 2.1% and EOG Resources ( EOG), up 2.1%. A company within the sector that fell today was Targa Resources ( TRGP), up 4.8%.

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

3. National Oilwell Varco ( NOV) is one of the companies pushing the Basic Materials sector higher today. As of noon trading, National Oilwell Varco is up $1.02 (1.3%) to $79.29 on average volume. Thus far, 1.9 million shares of National Oilwell Varco exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3.8 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $78.03-$79.49 after having opened the day at $78.13 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $78.27.

National Oilwell Varco, Inc. provides equipment and components for oil and gas drilling and production; oilfield services; and supply chain integration services to the upstream oil and gas industry worldwide. National Oilwell Varco has a market cap of $33.5 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are down 1.6% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 11 analysts who rate National Oilwell Varco a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 6 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates National Oilwell Varco as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, attractive valuation levels, increase in stock price during the past year and growth in earnings per share. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat disappointing return on equity. Get the full National Oilwell Varco 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, Dow Chemical ( DOW) is up $0.50 (1.0%) to $52.57 on average volume. Thus far, 3.8 million shares of Dow Chemical exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 8.1 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $52.00-$52.68 after having opened the day at $52.17 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $52.07.

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 $63.2 billion and is part of the chemicals industry. Shares are up 17.3% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 4 analysts who rate Dow Chemical a buy, 3 analysts rate it a sell, and 9 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 $0.99 (1.4%) to $69.97 on heavy volume. Thus far, 5.4 million shares of Halliburton exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 6.8 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $69.11-$70.34 after having opened the day at $69.41 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $68.98.

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 $57.8 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are up 35.9% 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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