3 Stocks Raising The Basic Materials 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 up today with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) trading up 45 points (0.3%) at 16,697 as of Thursday, Aug. 14, 2014, 12:55 PM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 2,017 issues advancing vs. 963 declining with 158 unchanged.

The Basic Materials sector currently sits up 0.1% versus the S&P 500, which is up 0.3%. Top gainers within the sector include Valero Energy ( VLO), up 2.8%, Kinder Morgan ( KMI), up 2.0%, Marathon Petroleum ( MPC), up 1.5%, Energy Transfer Equity ( ETE), up 1.5% and Enterprise Products Partners ( EPD), up 1.4%. On the negative front, top decliners within the sector include Energy XXI ( EXXI), down 18.4%, Ecopetrol ( EC), down 2.6%, Southern Copper ( SCCO), down 1.7%, Baker Hughes ( BHI), down 1.6% and National Oilwell Varco ( NOV), down 1.2%.

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 $0.41 (0.5%) to $79.42 on light volume. Thus far, 583,654 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 $79.33-$79.76 after having opened the day at $79.44 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $79.01.

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more.

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 $255.3 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are up 10.9% 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 solid stock price performance, increase in net income, attractive valuation levels, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and growth in earnings per share. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat disappointing return on equity. Get the full Royal Dutch Shell Ratings Report now.

STOCKS TO BUY: 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, Southwestern Energy ( SWN) is up $0.68 (1.8%) to $39.08 on average volume. Thus far, 2.6 million shares of Southwestern Energy exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 4.0 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $38.40-$39.23 after having opened the day at $38.51 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $38.40.

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more.

Southwestern Energy Company, an independent energy company, is engaged in the exploration, development and production of natural gas and oil in the United States. The company operates in two segments, Exploration and Production, and Midstream Services. Southwestern Energy has a market cap of $13.5 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are down 2.4% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 7 analysts who rate Southwestern Energy a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 15 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Southwestern Energy as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, good cash flow from operations, expanding profit margins, 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 Southwestern Energy Ratings Report now.

STOCKS TO BUY: 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, Kinder Morgan Energy Partners ( KMP) is up $1.64 (1.8%) to $94.99 on heavy volume. Thus far, 3.4 million shares of Kinder Morgan Energy Partners exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1.9 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $93.20-$95.09 after having opened the day at $93.61 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $93.35.

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more.

Kinder Morgan Energy Partners, L.P. operates as a pipeline transportation and energy storage company in North America. Kinder Morgan Energy Partners has a market cap of $30.0 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are up 15.7% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 4 analysts who rate Kinder Morgan Energy Partners a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 7 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Kinder Morgan Energy Partners as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, expanding profit margins and good cash flow from operations. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself. Get the full Kinder Morgan Energy Partners Ratings Report now.

STOCKS TO BUY: 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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