Today's Stocks Driving Success For The Basic Materials Sector

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 25 points (-0.1%) at 18,080 as of Tuesday, May 12, 2015, 12:55 PM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,119 issues advancing vs. 1,860 declining with 154 unchanged.

The Basic Materials sector currently sits up 0.6% versus the S&P 500, which is down 0.3%. Top gainers within the sector include ArcelorMittal ( MT), up 4.5%, Cameron International ( CAM), up 2.8%, Statoil ASA ( STO), up 2.5%, Continental Resources ( CLR), up 2.4% and MarkWest Energy Partners ( MWE), up 2.3%. On the negative front, top decliners within the sector include FMC Corporation ( FMC), down 4.8%, International Flavors & Fragrances ( IFF), down 4.5%, Ashland ( ASH), down 4.3%, Western Gas Equity Partners ( WGP), down 3.9% and Valero Energy ( VLO), down 1.3%.

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

3. Seadrill ( SDRL) is one of the companies pushing the Basic Materials sector higher today. As of noon trading, Seadrill is up $0.69 (5.0%) to $14.52 on average volume. Thus far, 8.9 million shares of Seadrill exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 13.1 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $14.10-$14.66 after having opened the day at $14.13 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $13.83.

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Seadrill Limited, an offshore drilling contractor, provides offshore drilling services to the oil and gas industry worldwide. The company operates through Floaters and Jack-up Rigs segments. Seadrill has a market cap of $6.7 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are up 14.4% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are 2 analysts who rate Seadrill a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 3 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Seadrill as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its notable return on equity, attractive valuation levels and expanding profit margins. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including generally higher debt management risk, weak operating cash flow and a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself. Get the full Seadrill Ratings Report now.

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2. As of noon trading, Range Resources ( RRC) is up $1.52 (2.4%) to $64.44 on average volume. Thus far, 1.3 million shares of Range Resources exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2.9 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $63.03-$64.98 after having opened the day at $63.08 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $62.92.

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Range Resources Corporation, an independent natural gas, natural gas liquids (NGLs), and oil company, engages in the acquisition, exploration, and development of natural gas and oil properties in the United States. Range Resources has a market cap of $10.9 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are up 20.3% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are 16 analysts who rate Range Resources a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 8 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Range Resources as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, expanding profit margins and good cash flow from operations. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself, generally higher debt management risk and feeble growth in the company's earnings per share. Get the full Range Resources Ratings Report now.

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1. As of noon trading, Chesapeake Energy ( CHK) is up $0.41 (2.7%) to $15.59 on average volume. Thus far, 9.8 million shares of Chesapeake Energy exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 23.2 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $15.20-$15.76 after having opened the day at $15.29 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $15.18.

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Chesapeake Energy Corporation engages in the acquisition, exploration, and development of properties for the production of oil, natural gas and natural gas liquids (NGL) from underground reservoirs in the United States. Chesapeake Energy has a market cap of $10.2 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are down 21.9% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are 4 analysts who rate Chesapeake Energy a buy, 5 analysts rate it a sell, and 11 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Chesapeake Energy as a sell. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its deteriorating net income, disappointing return on equity, weak operating cash flow, generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself and feeble growth in its earnings per share. Get the full Chesapeake Energy 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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