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 205 points (-1.2%) at 16,675 as of Thursday, July 31, 2014, 12:55 PM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 243 issues advancing vs. 2,822 declining with 89 unchanged.

The Basic Materials sector currently sits down 2.3% versus the S&P 500, which is down 1.5%. On the negative front, top decliners within the sector include YPF Sociedad Anonima ( YPF), down 9.2%, Petroleo Brasileiro SA Petrobras ( PBR), down 4.3%, PetroChina ( PTR), down 3.4%, Total ( TOT), down 3.2% and Suncor Energy ( SU), down 2.9%.

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

3. Royal Dutch Shell ( RDS.A) is one of the companies pushing the Basic Materials sector higher today. As of noon trading, Royal Dutch Shell is up $1.71 (2.1%) to $82.18 on heavy volume. Thus far, 1.5 million shares of Royal Dutch Shell exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1.7 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $81.97-$82.98 after having opened the day at $82.92 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $80.47.

Royal Dutch Shell plc operates as an independent oil and gas company worldwide. The company explores for and extracts crude oil, natural gas, and natural gas liquids. Royal Dutch Shell has a market cap of $261.0 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are up 12.9% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Royal Dutch Shell as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its attractive valuation levels, good cash flow from operations, solid stock price performance and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income. Get the full Royal Dutch Shell 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, Marathon Petroleum ( MPC) is up $4.33 (5.5%) to $83.31 on heavy volume. Thus far, 4.1 million shares of Marathon Petroleum exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3.1 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $81.28-$84.31 after having opened the day at $81.36 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $78.98.

Marathon Petroleum Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, is engaged in refining, transporting, and marketing petroleum products primarily in the United States. It operates through three segments: Refining & Marketing, Speedway, and Pipeline Transportation. Marathon Petroleum has a market cap of $23.0 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are down 13.9% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 9 analysts who rate Marathon Petroleum a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 2 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Marathon Petroleum as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its reasonable valuation levels, increase in stock price during the past year and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income. Get the full Marathon Petroleum 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, Apache Corporation ( APA) is up $2.23 (2.2%) to $103.52 on heavy volume. Thus far, 3.1 million shares of Apache Corporation exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2.9 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $101.90-$104.09 after having opened the day at $103.08 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $101.29.

Apache Corporation, an independent energy company, explores for, develops, and produces natural gas, crude oil, and natural gas liquids. Apache Corporation has a market cap of $39.1 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are up 17.9% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 9 analysts who rate Apache Corporation a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 13 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Apache Corporation as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its expanding profit margins, solid stock price performance, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income. Get the full Apache Corporation 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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