3 Basic Materials Stocks Dragging The Sector Down

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 up today with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) trading down 16 points (-0.1%) at 16,836 as of Monday, June 30, 2014, 12:55 PM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,605 issues advancing vs. 1,347 declining with 197 unchanged.

The Basic Materials sector currently sits up 0.2% versus the S&P 500, which is unchanged. On the negative front, top decliners within the sector include Valero Energy ( VLO), down 2.0%, Gerdau ( GGB), down 1.9%, Ultrapar Participacoes ( UGP), down 1.8%, China Petroleum & Chemical ( SNP), down 1.2% and Phillips 66 ( PSX), down 1.0%. Top gainers within the sector include PPG Industries ( PPG), up 2.5%, Linn Energy ( LINE), up 1.8%, Chesapeake Energy ( CHK), up 1.6%, Transocean ( RIG), up 1.2% and Apache Corporation ( APA), up 0.9%.

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

3. Petroleo Brasileiro SA Petrobras ( PBR.A) is one of the companies pushing the Basic Materials sector lower today. As of noon trading, Petroleo Brasileiro SA Petrobras is down $0.17 (-1.1%) to $15.48 on light volume. Thus far, 3.1 million shares of Petroleo Brasileiro SA Petrobras exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 9.7 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $15.47-$15.85 after having opened the day at $15.84 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $15.65.

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 $102.8 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are up 6.5% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday.

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, increase in stock price during the past year and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. 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.

STOCKS TO BUY: 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, E I du Pont de Nemours & Company ( DD) is down $0.38 (-0.6%) to $65.06 on heavy volume. Thus far, 4.0 million shares of E I du Pont de Nemours & Company exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3.4 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $64.87-$65.41 after having opened the day at $65.14 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $65.44.

E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company operates as a science and technology based company worldwide. Its Agriculture segment provides corn hybrid, soybean, canola, sunflower, sorghum, inoculants, wheat, and rice seed products under the Pioneer brand; and herbicides, fungicides, and insecticides. E I du Pont de Nemours & Company has a market cap of $62.2 billion and is part of the chemicals industry. Shares are up 0.7% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are 5 analysts that rate E I du Pont de Nemours & Company a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 9 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates E I du Pont de Nemours & Company as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, attractive valuation levels, expanding profit margins, good cash flow from operations and solid stock price performance. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income. Get the full E I du Pont de Nemours & Company Ratings Report now.

STOCKS TO BUY: 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, Vale ( VALE) is down $0.10 (-0.8%) to $13.18 on light volume. Thus far, 6.2 million shares of Vale exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 18.9 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $13.08-$13.22 after having opened the day at $13.19 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $13.29.

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 $69.3 billion and is part of the metals & mining industry. Shares are down 12.8% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are 5 analysts that 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 feeble growth in the company's earnings per share. Get the full Vale Ratings Report now.

STOCKS TO BUY: 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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