3 Stocks Boosting 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.

Two out of the three major indices are trading lower today with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) trading down 68 points (-0.4%) at 17,105 as of Tuesday, Sept. 23, 2014, 12:55 PM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,162 issues advancing vs. 1,797 declining with 186 unchanged.

The Basic Materials sector currently is unchanged today versus the S&P 500, which is down 0.2%. Top gainers within the sector include CF Industries Holdings ( CF), up 7.2%, Agrium ( AGU), up 2.5%, Pioneer Natural Resources ( PXD), up 1.6%, Kinder Morgan ( KMI), up 1.4% and Kinder Morgan Energy Partners ( KMP), up 1.4%. On the negative front, top decliners within the sector include POSCO ( PKX), down 3.8%, Statoil ASA ( STO), down 2.6%, Ecopetrol ( EC), down 2.4%, Energy Transfer Equity ( ETE), down 1.4% and Enbridge ( ENB), down 1.1%.

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

3. China Petroleum & Chemical ( SNP) is one of the companies pushing the Basic Materials sector higher today. As of noon trading, China Petroleum & Chemical is up $0.51 (0.6%) to $88.61 on average volume. Thus far, 80,414 shares of China Petroleum & Chemical exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 140,200 shares. The stock has ranged in price between $88.48-$89.25 after having opened the day at $88.93 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $88.10.

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

China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation, an energy and chemical company, through its subsidiaries, is engaged in the oil and gas, and chemical operations in the People's Republic of China. China Petroleum & Chemical has a market cap of $105.2 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are up 7.2% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there is 1 analyst who rates China Petroleum & Chemical a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 2 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates China Petroleum & Chemical as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its increase in stock price during the past year, increase in net income and attractive valuation levels. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including disappointing return on equity and poor profit margins. Get the full China Petroleum & Chemical 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, Southern Copper ( SCCO) is up $0.31 (1.1%) to $29.81 on average volume. Thus far, 1.3 million shares of Southern Copper exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1.8 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $29.53-$29.92 after having opened the day at $29.89 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $29.50.

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

Southern Copper Corporation is engaged in the mining, exploring, smelting, and refining copper and other minerals in Peru, Mexico, Argentina, Chile, and Ecuador. Southern Copper has a market cap of $26.3 billion and is part of the metals & mining industry. Shares are up 2.8% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are 4 analysts who rate Southern Copper a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 3 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Southern Copper as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, expanding profit margins, 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 somewhat weak growth in earnings per share. Get the full Southern Copper 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, Apache Corporation ( APA) is up $0.71 (0.8%) to $95.23 on light volume. Thus far, 807,548 shares of Apache Corporation exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2.6 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $94.30-$95.97 after having opened the day at $94.47 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $94.52.

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

Apache Corporation, an independent energy company, explores for, develops, and produces natural gas, crude oil, and natural gas liquids. Apache Corporation has a market cap of $36.9 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are up 10.0% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are 8 analysts who rate Apache Corporation a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 13 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Apache Corporation as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its reasonable valuation levels, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, expanding profit margins 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 Apache Corporation 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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