3 Stocks Dragging The Basic Materials Sector Downward

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One out of the three major indices are trading lower today with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) trading down 42 points (-0.2%) at 17,072 as of Wednesday, July 23, 2014, 12:55 PM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,641 issues advancing vs. 1,297 declining with 186 unchanged.

The Basic Materials sector currently is unchanged today versus the S&P 500, which is up 0.1%. On the negative front, top decliners within the sector include YPF Sociedad Anonima ( YPF), down 3.7%, and Petroleo Brasileiro SA Petrobras ( PBR), down 2.9%. Top gainers within the sector include Talisman Energy ( TLM), up 11.3%, FMC Technologies ( FTI), up 3.2%, PetroChina ( PTR), up 2.5%, POSCO ( PKX), up 2.2% and China Petroleum & Chemical ( SNP), up 1.9%.

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

3. Vale ( VALE) is one of the companies pushing the Basic Materials sector lower today. As of noon trading, Vale is down $0.12 (-0.9%) to $14.30 on average volume. Thus far, 10.2 million shares of Vale exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 17.2 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $14.27-$14.51 after having opened the day at $14.37 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $14.43.

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 $74.2 billion and is part of the metals & mining industry. Shares are down 5.4% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 5 analysts that rate Vale a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 8 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.

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