3 Basic Materials Stocks Pushing Sector Growth

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 10 points (-0.1%) at 17,605 as of Wednesday, Nov. 12, 2014, 12:20 PM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,473 issues advancing vs. 1,490 declining with 167 unchanged.

The Basic Materials sector currently sits up 0.3% versus the S&P 500, which is down 0.1%. Top gainers within the sector include CGG ( CGG), up 27.0%, Turquoise Hill Resources ( TRQ), up 5.3%, Ultrapar Participacoes ( UGP), up 1.4%, Imperial Oil ( IMO), up 1.0% and Petroleo Brasileiro SA Petrobras ( PBR.A), up 0.6%. On the negative front, top decliners within the sector include Southwestern Energy ( SWN), down 2.4%, Total ( TOT), down 1.7%, Tenaris ( TS), down 1.6% and LyondellBasell Industries ( LYB), down 1.5%.

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

3. Suncor Energy ( SU) is one of the companies pushing the Basic Materials sector higher today. As of noon trading, Suncor Energy is up $0.44 (1.3%) to $35.12 on average volume. Thus far, 1.8 million shares of Suncor Energy exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 4.2 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $34.43-$35.43 after having opened the day at $34.48 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $34.68.

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

Suncor Energy Inc., together with its subsidiaries, operates as an integrated energy company. Suncor Energy has a market cap of $50.0 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are down 1.1% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 10 analysts who 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 largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, reasonable valuation levels, good cash flow from operations 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.

2. As of noon trading, Alcoa ( AA) is up $0.34 (2.0%) to $16.79 on light volume. Thus far, 6.9 million shares of Alcoa exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 19.5 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $16.34-$16.84 after having opened the day at $16.42 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $16.45.

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

Alcoa Inc. produces and manages primary aluminum, fabricated aluminum, and alumina. The company operates in four segments: Alumina, Primary Metals, Global Rolled Products, and Engineered Products and Solutions. Alcoa has a market cap of $19.2 billion and is part of the metals & mining industry. Shares are up 54.8% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 9 analysts who rate Alcoa a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 5 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Alcoa as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, solid stock price performance, increase in net income, good cash flow from operations and growth in earnings per share. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat disappointing return on equity. Get the full Alcoa 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, Dow Chemical ( DOW) is up $0.33 (0.7%) to $49.85 on average volume. Thus far, 7.0 million shares of Dow Chemical exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 10.7 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $49.75-$50.97 after having opened the day at $50.27 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $49.52.

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

The Dow Chemical Company manufactures and supplies chemical products for use as raw materials in the manufacture of customer products and services worldwide. Dow Chemical has a market cap of $58.3 billion and is part of the chemicals industry. Shares are up 11.5% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 6 analysts who rate Dow Chemical a buy, 3 analysts rate it a sell, and 8 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Dow Chemical as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its compelling growth in net income, revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, solid stock price performance and reasonable valuation levels. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins. Get the full Dow 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.

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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