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.

All three major indices are trading up today with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) trading up 171 points (1.0%) at 18,028 as of Monday, March 9, 2015, 1:50 PM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,589 issues advancing vs. 1,440 declining with 142 unchanged.

The Basic Materials sector currently sits down 0.8% versus the S&P 500, which is up 0.5%. Top gainers within the sector include Whiting Petroleum ( WLL), up 13.8%, Marathon Petroleum ( MPC), up 2.2%, Tenaris ( TS), up 2.4%, Phillips 66 ( PSX), up 2.3% and Williams Companies ( WMB), up 1.8%. On the negative front, top decliners within the sector include Alcoa ( AA), down 5.9%, Barrick Gold ( ABX), down 4.6%, Chesapeake Energy ( CHK), down 4.0%, Newmont Mining ( NEM), down 4.2% and Range Resources ( RRC), down 3.2%.

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

3. Canadian Natural Resources ( CNQ) is one of the companies pushing the Basic Materials sector higher today. As of noon trading, Canadian Natural Resources is up $0.10 (0.3%) to $29.81 on average volume. Thus far, 2.7 million shares of Canadian Natural Resources exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 4.7 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $29.54-$30.32 after having opened the day at $29.86 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $29.71.

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

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 $33.7 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are down 3.8% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are 6 analysts who rate Canadian Natural Resources a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 2 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Canadian Natural Resources as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, impressive record of earnings per share growth and compelling growth in net income. However, as a counter to these strengths, we find that the stock has had a generally disappointing performance in the past year. 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.

2. As of noon trading, Continental Resources ( CLR) is up $0.52 (1.2%) to $43.32 on light volume. Thus far, 1.6 million shares of Continental Resources exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 5.4 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $42.67-$44.16 after having opened the day at $42.98 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $42.80.

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

Continental Resources, Inc. explores, develops, and produces crude oil and natural gas properties in the north, south, and east regions of the United States. Continental Resources has a market cap of $16.4 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are up 11.6% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are 11 analysts who rate Continental Resources a buy, 2 analysts rate it a sell, and 10 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Continental Resources as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, good cash flow from operations and notable return on equity. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including generally higher debt management risk, a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself and feeble growth in the company's earnings per share. Get the full Continental 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, Valero Energy ( VLO) is up $0.35 (0.6%) to $59.09 on average volume. Thus far, 3.7 million shares of Valero Energy exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 8.3 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $58.55-$59.69 after having opened the day at $58.56 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $58.74.

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

Valero Energy Corporation operates as an independent petroleum refining and marketing company in the United States, Canada, the Caribbean, the United Kingdom, and Ireland. It operates through two segments, Refining and Ethanol. Valero Energy has a market cap of $30.9 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are up 18.7% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are 10 analysts who rate Valero Energy a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 2 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Valero Energy as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its attractive valuation levels, solid stock price performance, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow. Get the full Valero 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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