3 Basic Materials Stocks On The Rise

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 down today with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) trading down 25 points (-0.1%) at 16,936 as of Monday, July 28, 2014, 12:55 PM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,030 issues advancing vs. 1,900 declining with 205 unchanged.

The Basic Materials sector currently sits down 0.7% versus the S&P 500, which is down 0.2%. Top gainers within the sector include Ecopetrol ( EC), up 1.3%, Total ( TOT), up 0.7% and Exxon Mobil Corporation ( XOM), up 0.7%. On the negative front, top decliners within the sector include YPF Sociedad Anonima ( YPF), down 4.0%, Pioneer Natural Resources ( PXD), down 1.6%, Canadian Natural Resources ( CNQ), down 1.5%, National Oilwell Varco ( NOV), down 1.5% and Halliburton ( HAL), down 1.5%.

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

3. Vale ( VALE) is one of the companies pushing the Basic Materials sector higher today. As of noon trading, Vale is up $0.22 (1.6%) to $14.78 on average volume. Thus far, 8.0 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 $14.60-$14.80 after having opened the day at $14.62 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $14.56.

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 $75.0 billion and is part of the metals & mining industry. Shares are down 4.5% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are 5 analysts who 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 feeble growth in the company's earnings per share. 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.

2. As of noon trading, Alcoa ( AA) is up $0.24 (1.5%) to $16.80 on average volume. Thus far, 9.2 million shares of Alcoa exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 15.3 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $16.60-$16.86 after having opened the day at $16.60 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $16.56.

Alcoa Inc. produces and manages primary aluminum, fabricated aluminum, and alumina. The company operates in four segments: Alumina, Primary Metals, Global Rolled Products, and Engineered Products and Solutions. Alcoa has a market cap of $19.9 billion and is part of the metals & mining industry. Shares are up 55.8% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are 7 analysts who rate Alcoa a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 7 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Alcoa as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, growth in earnings per share, good cash flow from operations and increase in net income. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat disappointing return on equity. Get the full Alcoa 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, LyondellBasell Industries ( LYB) is up $0.97 (0.9%) to $108.46 on average volume. Thus far, 1.6 million shares of LyondellBasell Industries exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2.8 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $107.42-$108.79 after having opened the day at $107.50 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $107.49.

LyondellBasell Industries N.V., together with its subsidiaries, manufactures chemicals and polymers; refines crude oil; produces gasoline blending components; and develops and licenses technologies for production of polymers. LyondellBasell Industries has a market cap of $54.0 billion and is part of the chemicals industry. Shares are up 33.9% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are 11 analysts who rate LyondellBasell Industries a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 3 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates LyondellBasell Industries as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, growth in earnings per share, increase in net income, revenue growth and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins. Get the full LyondellBasell Industries 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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