3 Stocks Pulling The Basic Materials Sector Downward

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Two out of the three major indices are trading up today with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) trading up 68 points (0.4%) at 17,048 as of Thursday, Aug. 21, 2014, 12:55 PM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,747 issues advancing vs. 1,215 declining with 171 unchanged.

The Basic Materials sector currently sits down 0.4% versus the S&P 500, which is up 0.3%. On the negative front, top decliners within the sector include Cameco ( CCJ), down 4.9%, Agnico Eagle Mines ( AEM), down 4.3%, Goldcorp ( GG), down 3.5%, Franco-Nevada ( FNV), down 3.3% and Silver Wheaton ( SLW), down 2.9%. Top gainers within the sector include Total ( TOT), up 1.2%, Crescent Point Energy ( CPG), up 1.2%, Tenaris ( TS), up 0.8%, Imperial Oil ( IMO), up 0.7% and Energy Transfer Equity ( ETE), up 0.7%.

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

3. Alcoa ( AA) is one of the companies pushing the Basic Materials sector lower today. As of noon trading, Alcoa is down $0.20 (-1.2%) to $16.30 on light volume. Thus far, 4.6 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 $16.26-$16.52 after having opened the day at $16.52 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $16.50.

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 $19.3 billion and is part of the metals & mining industry. Shares are up 55.2% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 7 analysts that 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.

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