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 77 points (0.5%) at 17,053 as of Thursday, July 3, 2014, 12:55 PM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,714 issues advancing vs. 1,323 declining with 126 unchanged.

The Basic Materials sector currently sits up 0.2% versus the S&P 500, which is up 0.5%. Top gainers within the sector include Vale ( VALE), up 2.5%, Marathon Oil ( MRO), up 1.6%, Tenaris ( TS), up 1.5%, Ecopetrol ( EC), up 1.3% and Continental Resources ( CLR), up 1.2%. A company within the sector that fell today was BP ( BP), up 0.5%.

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

3. Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold ( FCX) is one of the companies pushing the Basic Materials sector higher today. As of noon trading, Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold is up $0.73 (1.9%) to $38.56 on heavy volume. Thus far, 9.2 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 $38.04-$38.58 after having opened the day at $38.19 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $37.83.

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 $38.3 billion and is part of the metals & mining industry. Shares are up 0.2% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. 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 solid stock price performance. 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.

2. As of noon trading, Dow Chemical ( DOW) is up $0.58 (1.1%) to $52.10 on light volume. Thus far, 2.1 million shares of Dow Chemical exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 7.9 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $51.71-$52.19 after having opened the day at $51.76 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $51.52.

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 $62.1 billion and is part of the chemicals industry. Shares are up 16.0% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. 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, Chevron ( CVX) is up $0.74 (0.6%) to $130.97 on light volume. Thus far, 2.0 million shares of Chevron exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 5.9 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $130.72-$131.59 after having opened the day at $131.44 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $130.23.

Chevron Corporation, through its subsidiaries, is engaged in petroleum, chemicals, mining, power generation, and energy operations worldwide. The company operates in two segments, Upstream and Downstream. Chevron has a market cap of $248.5 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are up 4.3% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 9 analysts who rate Chevron a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 5 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Chevron 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, good cash flow from operations and increase in stock price during the past year. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat weak growth in earnings per share. Get the full Chevron 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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