3 Stocks Dragging The Basic Materials Sector Downward

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%. 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%. 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%.

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 $0.79 (-1.2%) to $62.77 on heavy volume. Thus far, 1.1 million shares of Total exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1.1 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $62.53-$63.06 after having opened the day at $62.54 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $63.56.

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 $151.6 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are up 3.7% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Monday. 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, EOG Resources ( EOG) is down $0.74 (-0.7%) to $101.00 on heavy volume. Thus far, 3.7 million shares of EOG Resources exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3.0 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $100.45-$101.63 after having opened the day at $101.55 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $101.74.

EOG Resources, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, explores for, develops, produces, and markets crude oil and natural gas. EOG Resources has a market cap of $57.1 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are up 21.2% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are 21 analysts that rate EOG Resources a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 5 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates EOG Resources as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, growth in earnings per share, good cash flow from operations, solid stock price performance and increase in net income. Although the company may harbor some minor weaknesses, we feel they are unlikely to have a significant impact on results. Get the full EOG 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, Petroleo Brasileiro SA Petrobras ( PBR) is down $0.32 (-2.0%) to $15.79 on average volume. Thus far, 15.3 million shares of Petroleo Brasileiro SA Petrobras exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 26.6 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $15.67-$16.55 after having opened the day at $16.10 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $16.11.

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 $109.4 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are up 16.9% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are 3 analysts that 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, attractive valuation levels and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. 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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