3 Stocks Improving Performance Of The Basic Materials Sector

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 41 points (0.2%) at 17,110 as of Friday, Sept. 5, 2014, 12:55 PM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,666 issues advancing vs. 1,285 declining with 190 unchanged.

The Basic Materials sector currently is unchanged today versus the S&P 500, which is up 0.2%. Top gainers within the sector include BP ( BP), up 2.4%, POSCO ( PKX), up 2.3%, Pioneer Natural Resources ( PXD), up 1.0%, Tenaris ( TS), up 0.9% and Phillips 66 ( PSX), up 0.7%. On the negative front, top decliners within the sector include Companhia Siderurgica Nacional ( SID), down 3.3%, Goldcorp ( GG), down 1.4% and PetroChina ( PTR), down 0.6%.

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

3. Monsanto ( MON) is one of the companies pushing the Basic Materials sector higher today. As of noon trading, Monsanto is up $0.62 (0.6%) to $114.25 on light volume. Thus far, 1.2 million shares of Monsanto exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3.7 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $113.04-$114.26 after having opened the day at $113.65 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $113.63.

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

Monsanto Company, together with its subsidiaries, provides agricultural products for farmers worldwide. It operates in two segments, Seeds and Genomics, and Agricultural Productivity. Monsanto has a market cap of $60.5 billion and is part of the chemicals industry. Shares are down 2.5% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 12 analysts who rate Monsanto a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 4 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Monsanto 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, expanding profit margins, notable return on equity and reasonable valuation levels. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow. Get the full Monsanto 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, Halliburton ( HAL) is up $0.62 (0.9%) to $67.16 on average volume. Thus far, 4.5 million shares of Halliburton exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 6.5 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $65.88-$67.23 after having opened the day at $66.52 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $66.55.

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

Halliburton Company provides a range of services and products for the exploration, development, and production of oil and natural gas to oil and gas companies worldwide. The company operates in two segments, Completion and Production, and Drilling and Evaluation. Halliburton has a market cap of $57.5 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are up 31.1% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 19 analysts who rate Halliburton a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 3 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Halliburton as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its compelling growth in net income, revenue growth, solid stock price performance, impressive record of earnings per share growth and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow. Get the full Halliburton 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, Petroleo Brasileiro SA Petrobras ( PBR) is up $0.12 (0.6%) to $19.44 on heavy volume. Thus far, 23.1 million shares of Petroleo Brasileiro SA Petrobras exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 22.7 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $19.04-$19.84 after having opened the day at $19.52 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $19.33.

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

Petroleo Brasileiro S.A. - Petrobras operates as an integrated oil and gas company in Brazil and internationally. Petroleo Brasileiro SA Petrobras has a market cap of $132.3 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are up 40.3% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 2 analysts who rate Petroleo Brasileiro SA Petrobras a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 6 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Petroleo Brasileiro SA Petrobras as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, solid stock price performance and attractive valuation levels. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including deteriorating net income, disappointing return on equity and poor profit margins. Get the full Petroleo Brasileiro SA Petrobras 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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