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.

Two out of the three major indices are trading lower today with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) trading up 2 points (0.0%) at 17,721 as of Thursday, March 26, 2015, 12:55 PM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,110 issues advancing vs. 1,827 declining with 181 unchanged.

The Basic Materials sector currently sits up 0.2% versus the S&P 500, which is down 0.1%. Top gainers within the sector include Cheniere Energy ( LNG), up 4.1%, LyondellBasell Industries ( LYB), up 2.6%, Pioneer Natural Resources ( PXD), up 2.2%, Canadian Natural Resources ( CNQ), up 1.5% and Potash Corp of Saskatchewan ( POT), up 1.1%. On the negative front, top decliners within the sector include Petroleo Brasileiro SA Petrobras ( PBR), down 3.6%, Vale ( VALE), down 2.7%, Enbridge ( ENB), down 1.8%, Royal Dutch Shell ( RDS.B), down 1.7% and Marathon Petroleum ( MPC), down 1.5%.

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

3. Concho Resources ( CXO) is one of the companies pushing the Basic Materials sector higher today. As of noon trading, Concho Resources is up $3.57 (3.3%) to $112.02 on average volume. Thus far, 1.0 million shares of Concho Resources exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1.8 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $110.32-$113.70 after having opened the day at $111.73 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $108.45.

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Concho Resources Inc., an independent oil and natural gas company, acquires, develops, and explores for oil and natural gas properties in the Unites States. The company's principal operating areas are located in the Permian Basin of southeast New Mexico and West Texas. Concho Resources has a market cap of $12.0 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are up 8.7% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 19 analysts who rate Concho Resources a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 5 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Concho Resources as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its compelling growth in net income, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, growth in earnings per share and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself. Get the full Concho Resources Ratings Report now.

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2. As of noon trading, Continental Resources ( CLR) is up $0.99 (2.4%) to $41.97 on average volume. Thus far, 2.6 million shares of Continental Resources exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 4.9 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $41.42-$42.94 after having opened the day at $41.97 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $40.98.

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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 $14.5 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are up 6.8% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. 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.

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1. As of noon trading, Freeport-McMoRan ( FCX) is up $0.28 (1.5%) to $19.37 on average volume. Thus far, 13.0 million shares of Freeport-McMoRan exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 20.4 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $19.26-$20.00 after having opened the day at $19.54 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $19.09.

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Freeport-McMoRan Inc., a natural resource company, engages in the acquisition of mineral assets, and oil and natural gas resources. It primarily explores for copper, gold, molybdenum, cobalt, silver, and other metals, as well as oil and gas. Freeport-McMoRan has a market cap of $19.9 billion and is part of the metals & mining industry. Shares are down 18.3% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 9 analysts who rate Freeport-McMoRan a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 6 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Freeport-McMoRan as a sell. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its deteriorating net income, generally high debt management risk, disappointing return on equity, weak operating cash flow and generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself. Get the full Freeport-McMoRan Ratings Report now.

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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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