3 Basic Materials Stocks Driving The Sector Higher

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 7 points (0.0%) at 16,563 as of Tuesday, Aug. 12, 2014, 12:55 PM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,349 issues advancing vs. 1,605 declining with 179 unchanged.

The Basic Materials sector currently sits down 0.5% versus the S&P 500, which is down 0.1%. Top gainers within the sector include Barrick Gold ( ABX), up 2.4%, and Goldcorp ( GG), up 1.9%. On the negative front, top decliners within the sector include Kinder Morgan Energy Partners ( KMP), down 2.3%, Statoil ASA ( STO), down 2.2%, Kinder Morgan ( KMI), down 2.0%, Devon Energy ( DVN), down 1.7% and Continental Resources ( CLR), down 1.7%.

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

3. Southern Copper ( SCCO) is one of the companies pushing the Basic Materials sector higher today. As of noon trading, Southern Copper is up $0.42 (1.3%) to $32.50 on light volume. Thus far, 472,388 shares of Southern Copper exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1.7 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $31.84-$32.54 after having opened the day at $32.01 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $32.08.

Southern Copper Corporation is engaged in the mining, exploring, smelting, and refining copper and other minerals in Peru, Mexico, Argentina, Chile, and Ecuador. Southern Copper has a market cap of $26.6 billion and is part of the metals & mining industry. Shares are up 11.7% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are 4 analysts who rate Southern Copper a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 3 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Southern Copper as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, expanding profit margins and solid stock price performance. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including feeble growth in the company's earnings per share and deteriorating net income. Get the full Southern Copper Ratings Report now.

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2. As of noon trading, E I du Pont de Nemours & Company ( DD) is up $0.45 (0.7%) to $65.48 on light volume. Thus far, 1.3 million shares of E I du Pont de Nemours & Company exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3.8 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $64.73-$65.48 after having opened the day at $64.99 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $65.03.

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 $59.5 billion and is part of the chemicals industry. Shares are up 0.1% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are 4 analysts who rate E I du Pont de Nemours & Company a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 10 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 increase in stock price during the past year, increase in net income, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, reasonable valuation levels and good cash flow from operations. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat disappointing return on equity. Get the full E I du Pont de Nemours & Company 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 $0.72 (0.7%) to $109.00 on average volume. Thus far, 1.3 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 $107.77-$109.01 after having opened the day at $108.42 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $108.28.

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 $55.5 billion and is part of the chemicals industry. Shares are up 34.9% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Monday. 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 revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, notable return on equity, good cash flow from operations and solid stock price performance. 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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