3 Stocks Underperforming Today In 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 down today with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) trading down 32 points (-0.2%) at 17,036 as of Thursday, Sept. 11, 2014, 12:55 PM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,537 issues advancing vs. 1,470 declining with 140 unchanged.

The Basic Materials sector currently sits down 0.3% versus the S&P 500, which is down 0.1%. On the negative front, top decliners within the sector include Air Products & Chemicals ( APD), down 2.2%, Statoil ASA ( STO), down 1.6%, Royal Dutch Shell ( RDS.B), down 1.0%, TransCanada ( TRP), down 0.9% and Chevron ( CVX), down 0.6%. Top gainers within the sector include Petroleo Brasileiro SA Petrobras ( PBR), up 1.2%, Williams Companies ( WMB), up 1.0% and Pioneer Natural Resources ( PXD), up 1.0%.

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

3. Ecopetrol ( EC) is one of the companies pushing the Basic Materials sector lower today. As of noon trading, Ecopetrol is down $0.26 (-0.8%) to $33.96 on light volume. Thus far, 91,989 shares of Ecopetrol exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 417,000 shares. The stock has ranged in price between $33.85-$34.38 after having opened the day at $34.18 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $34.22.

Ecopetrol S.A., an integrated oil company, is engaged in the exploration, development, and production of crude oil and natural gas primarily in Colombia, Peru, Brazil, and the United States Gulf Coast. Ecopetrol has a market cap of $70.5 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are down 11.0% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there is 1 analyst that rates Ecopetrol a buy, 3 analysts rate it a sell, and 1 rates it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Ecopetrol as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, attractive valuation levels and good cash flow from operations. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including feeble growth in the company's earnings per share, deteriorating net income and disappointing return on equity. Get the full Ecopetrol 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, PetroChina ( PTR) is down $2.74 (-1.9%) to $138.20 on average volume. Thus far, 93,953 shares of PetroChina exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 129,700 shares. The stock has ranged in price between $137.20-$138.79 after having opened the day at $137.50 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $140.94.

PetroChina Company Limited produces and sells oil and gas in the People's Republic of China. The company operates in four segments: Exploration and Production, Refining and Chemicals, Marketing, and Natural Gas and Pipeline. PetroChina has a market cap of $263.7 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are up 28.4% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 2 analysts that rate PetroChina a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 2 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates PetroChina as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, solid stock price performance, growth in earnings per share, attractive valuation levels and good cash flow from operations. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins. Get the full PetroChina 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, Suncor Energy ( SU) is down $0.36 (-0.9%) to $39.12 on average volume. Thus far, 1.5 million shares of Suncor Energy exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3.0 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $38.90-$39.46 after having opened the day at $39.09 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $39.48.

Suncor Energy Inc., together with its subsidiaries, operates as an integrated energy company. Suncor Energy has a market cap of $58.3 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are up 12.6% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 11 analysts that rate Suncor Energy a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 2 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Suncor Energy 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, reasonable valuation levels, increase in stock price during the past year 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 Suncor 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.

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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