3 Stocks Dragging 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.

One out of the three major indices are trading up today with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) trading up 8 points (0.0%) at 17,140 as of Wednesday, Sept. 17, 2014, 12:55 PM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,738 issues advancing vs. 1,242 declining with 174 unchanged.

The Basic Materials sector currently is unchanged today versus the S&P 500, which is unchanged. On the negative front, top decliners within the sector include Sunoco Logistics Partners ( SXL), down 5.0%, National Oilwell Varco ( NOV), down 1.7%, Halliburton ( HAL), down 1.6%, Valero Energy ( VLO), down 1.5% and Marathon Petroleum ( MPC), down 1.5%. Top gainers within the sector include Petroleo Brasileiro SA Petrobras ( PBR), up 1.7%, PetroChina ( PTR), up 1.7%, Tenaris ( TS), up 1.4%, Continental Resources ( CLR), up 1.3% and Dow Chemical ( DOW), up 1.2%.

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

3. Total ( TOT) is one of the companies pushing the Basic Materials sector lower today. As of noon trading, Total is down $0.53 (-0.8%) to $64.89 on heavy volume. Thus far, 802,778 shares of Total exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1.1 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $64.71-$65.10 after having opened the day at $64.93 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $65.42.

TOTAL S.A., together with its subsidiaries, operates as an oil and gas company worldwide. The company operates in three segments: Upstream, Refining & Chemicals, and Marketing & Services. Total has a market cap of $153.3 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are up 6.8% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 5 analysts that rate Total a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 4 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Total as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, attractive valuation levels, good cash flow from operations, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and increase in stock price during the past year. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income. Get the full Total 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, Canadian Natural Resources ( CNQ) is down $0.44 (-1.0%) to $41.26 on heavy volume. Thus far, 1.6 million shares of Canadian Natural Resources exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2.1 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $41.21-$41.86 after having opened the day at $41.84 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $41.70.

Canadian Natural Resources Limited explores for, develops, produces, markets, and sells crude oil, natural gas liquids (NGLs), and natural gas in North America. Canadian Natural Resources has a market cap of $44.9 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are up 23.2% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 9 analysts that rate Canadian Natural Resources a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 1 rates it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Canadian Natural Resources as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, solid stock price performance, expanding profit margins, good cash flow from operations and compelling growth in net income. Although no company is perfect, currently we do not see any significant weaknesses which are likely to detract from the generally positive outlook. Get the full Canadian Natural Resources 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, Williams Companies ( WMB) is down $0.43 (-0.8%) to $56.89 on light volume. Thus far, 1.2 million shares of Williams Companies exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 5.0 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $56.82-$57.61 after having opened the day at $57.47 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $57.32.

The Williams Companies, Inc. operates as an energy infrastructure company. Williams Companies has a market cap of $42.3 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are up 48.6% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 7 analysts that rate Williams Companies a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 3 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Williams Companies as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance and expanding profit margins. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including deteriorating net income, generally higher debt management risk and disappointing return on equity. Get the full Williams Companies 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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