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.

All three major indices are trading down today with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) trading down 104 points (-0.6%) at 17,824 as of Wednesday, May 6, 2015, 12:55 PM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 986 issues advancing vs. 2,035 declining with 119 unchanged.

The Basic Materials sector currently sits down 0.2% versus the S&P 500, which is down 0.3%. Top gainers within the sector include Statoil ASA ( STO), up 2.5%, Devon Energy ( DVN), up 2.2%, YPF Sociedad Anonima ( YPF), up 2.1%, POSCO ( PKX), up 1.9% and Total ( TOT), up 1.8%. On the negative front, top decliners within the sector include Cenovus Energy ( CVE), down 5.3%, Vale ( VALE), down 4.9%, Plains All American Pipeline ( PAA), down 2.9%, Barrick Gold ( ABX), down 2.8% and Enbridge ( ENB), down 2.5%.

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

3. Hess ( HES) is one of the companies pushing the Basic Materials sector higher today. As of noon trading, Hess is up $1.11 (1.5%) to $75.01 on average volume. Thus far, 1.2 million shares of Hess exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2.8 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $74.03-$75.62 after having opened the day at $74.74 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $73.90.

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Hess Corporation, an exploration and production company, develops, produces, purchases, transports, and sells crude oil, natural gas liquids, and natural gas. Hess has a market cap of $21.5 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are up 1.2% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 8 analysts who rate Hess a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 7 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Hess as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and expanding profit margins. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself, feeble growth in the company's earnings per share and deteriorating net income. Get the full Hess Ratings Report now.

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2. As of noon trading, EOG Resources ( EOG) is up $1.60 (1.7%) to $96.14 on average volume. Thus far, 2.8 million shares of EOG Resources exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 4.4 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $95.20-$96.86 after having opened the day at $96.21 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $94.54.

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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 $54.5 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are up 8.0% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 15 analysts who rate EOG Resources a buy, 3 analysts rate it a sell, and 7 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 largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and expanding profit margins. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income. Get the full EOG Resources Ratings Report now.

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1. As of noon trading, LyondellBasell Industries ( LYB) is up $1.39 (1.4%) to $104.36 on average volume. Thus far, 2.1 million shares of LyondellBasell Industries exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 4.1 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $102.83-$104.99 after having opened the day at $104.38 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $102.97.

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LyondellBasell Industries N.V. operates as a manufacturer of chemicals and polymers, refiner of crude oil, producer of gasoline blending components, and developer and licensor of technologies for production of polymers. LyondellBasell Industries has a market cap of $49.2 billion and is part of the chemicals industry. Shares are up 30.8% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 8 analysts who rate LyondellBasell Industries a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 6 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates LyondellBasell Industries as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, impressive record of earnings per share growth, increase in net income, notable return on equity and good cash flow from operations. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins. Get the full LyondellBasell Industries 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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