3 Stocks Boosting The Basic Materials Sector Higher

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 down 16 points (-0.1%) at 18,296 as of Wednesday, May 20, 2015, 12:55 PM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,497 issues advancing vs. 1,463 declining with 190 unchanged.

The Basic Materials sector currently is unchanged today versus the S&P 500, which is down 0.1%. Top gainers within the sector include Newmont Mining ( NEM), up 2.0%, Cenovus Energy ( CVE), up 1.9%, Ecopetrol ( EC), up 1.8%, FMC Technologies ( FTI), up 1.7% and Imperial Oil ( IMO), up 1.3%. On the negative front, top decliners within the sector include Sociedad Quimica Y Minera De Chile ( SQM), down 4.7%, Cameco ( CCJ), down 2.4%, Sherwin-Williams ( SHW), down 1.4%, Plains All American Pipeline ( PAA), down 1.2% and Noble Energy ( NBL), down 1.2%.

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 $0.25 (0.8%) to $29.79 on average volume. Thus far, 1.5 million shares of Suncor Energy exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3.6 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $29.64-$30.05 after having opened the day at $29.65 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $29.54.

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Suncor Energy Inc. operates as an integrated energy company. Suncor Energy has a market cap of $43.4 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are down 7.0% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 6 analysts who rate Suncor Energy a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 7 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Suncor Energy as a hold. Among the primary strengths of the company is its solid financial position based on a variety of debt and liquidity measures that we have evaluated. At the same time, however, 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 Suncor Energy Ratings Report now.

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2. As of noon trading, LyondellBasell Industries ( LYB) is up $0.65 (0.6%) to $101.88 on light volume. Thus far, 1.0 million shares of LyondellBasell Industries exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3.8 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $100.82-$102.22 after having opened the day at $101.51 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $101.23.

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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 $49.4 billion and is part of the chemicals industry. Shares are up 27.5% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 7 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 increase in stock price during the past year, impressive record of earnings per share growth, increase in net income, notable return on equity and attractive valuation levels. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins. Get the full LyondellBasell Industries Ratings Report now.

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1. As of noon trading, Dow Chemical ( DOW) is up $0.40 (0.8%) to $51.14 on light volume. Thus far, 1.9 million shares of Dow Chemical exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 7.8 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $50.72-$51.21 after having opened the day at $50.86 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $50.73.

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The Dow Chemical Company manufactures and supplies products that are used primarily as raw materials in the manufacture of customer products and services worldwide. Dow Chemical has a market cap of $58.8 billion and is part of the chemicals industry. Shares are up 11.2% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 6 analysts who rate Dow Chemical a buy, 2 analysts rate it a sell, and 9 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 increase in net income, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, attractive valuation levels, good cash flow from operations and growth in earnings per share. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat disappointing return on equity. Get the full Dow Chemical 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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