3 Stocks Pushing 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.

All three major indices are trading down today with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) trading down 97 points (-0.5%) at 17,802 as of Monday, June 15, 2015, 12:55 PM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,032 issues advancing vs. 1,944 declining with 177 unchanged.

The Basic Materials sector currently is unchanged today versus the S&P 500, which is down 0.5%. Top gainers within the sector include Newmont Mining ( NEM), up 3.1%, Barrick Gold ( ABX), up 1.9%, Continental Resources ( CLR), up 1.6%, Enterprise Products Partners ( EPD), up 1.0% and Williams Companies ( WMB), up 1.0%. On the negative front, top decliners within the sector include Vale ( VALE), down 2.9%, Nucor ( NUE), down 1.9%, Statoil ASA ( STO), down 1.8%, PetroChina ( PTR), down 1.8% and Southern Copper ( SCCO), down 1.8%.

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

3. Potash Corp of Saskatchewan ( POT) is one of the companies pushing the Basic Materials sector higher today. As of noon trading, Potash Corp of Saskatchewan is up $0.28 (0.9%) to $30.64 on average volume. Thus far, 1.9 million shares of Potash Corp of Saskatchewan exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 4.0 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $30.13-$30.77 after having opened the day at $30.27 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $30.36.

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Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan Inc., together with its subsidiaries, produces and sells fertilizers and related industrial and feed products worldwide. The company operates in three segments: Potash, Nitrogen, and Phosphate. Potash Corp of Saskatchewan has a market cap of $25.4 billion and is part of the chemicals industry. Shares are down 14.0% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are 7 analysts who rate Potash Corp of Saskatchewan a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 10 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Potash Corp of Saskatchewan as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its increase in net income, expanding profit margins and growth in earnings per share. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including weak operating cash flow and a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself. Get the full Potash Corp of Saskatchewan Ratings Report now.

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2. As of noon trading, Energy Transfer Partners ( ETP) is up $0.32 (0.6%) to $55.30 on average volume. Thus far, 1.1 million shares of Energy Transfer Partners exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2.3 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $54.81-$55.42 after having opened the day at $54.85 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $54.98.

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Energy Transfer Partners, L.P. engages in the natural gas midstream, and intrastate transportation and storage businesses in the United States. Energy Transfer Partners has a market cap of $27.5 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are down 15.4% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are 9 analysts who rate Energy Transfer Partners a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 4 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Energy Transfer Partners as a buy. Among the primary strengths of the company is its respectable return on equity which we feel is likely to continue. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself. Get the full Energy Transfer Partners Ratings Report now.

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1. As of noon trading, Petroleo Brasileiro SA Petrobras ( PBR) is up $0.14 (1.5%) to $9.24 on light volume. Thus far, 9.0 million shares of Petroleo Brasileiro SA Petrobras exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 43.4 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $9.06-$9.26 after having opened the day at $9.10 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $9.10.

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Petroleo Brasileiro S.A. - Petrobras operates as an integrated energy company in Brazil and internationally. Petroleo Brasileiro SA Petrobras has a market cap of $59.6 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are up 24.7% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are 2 analysts who rate Petroleo Brasileiro SA Petrobras a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 5 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Petroleo Brasileiro SA Petrobras as a sell. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its disappointing return on equity, generally high debt management risk, generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself and feeble growth in its earnings per share. Get the full Petroleo Brasileiro SA Petrobras 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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