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.

Two out of the three major indices are trading up today with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) trading up 13 points (0.1%) at 17,609 as of Tuesday, June 30, 2015, 12:55 PM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,652 issues advancing vs. 1,385 declining with 154 unchanged.

The Basic Materials sector currently sits down 0.5% versus the S&P 500, which is unchanged. Top gainers within the sector include Valero Energy ( VLO), up 3.0%, Marathon Petroleum ( MPC), up 2.7%, China Petroleum & Chemical ( SNP), up 2.4%, Phillips 66 ( PSX), up 2.4% and Williams Companies ( WMB), up 2.2%. On the negative front, top decliners within the sector include Total ( TOT), down 2.2%, Royal Dutch Shell ( RDS.B), down 1.9%, TransCanada ( TRP), down 1.4% and BP ( BP), down 1.3%.

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

3. Monsanto ( MON) is one of the companies pushing the Basic Materials sector higher today. As of noon trading, Monsanto is up $3.46 (3.4%) to $106.25 on heavy volume. Thus far, 3.1 million shares of Monsanto exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3.2 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $103.43-$106.52 after having opened the day at $104.96 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $102.79.

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Monsanto Company, together with its subsidiaries, provides agricultural products for farmers worldwide. It operates in two segments, Seeds and Genomics, and Agricultural Productivity. Monsanto has a market cap of $49.2 billion and is part of the chemicals industry. Shares are down 13.6% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are 7 analysts who rate Monsanto a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 6 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Monsanto as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, growth in earnings per share, increase in net income, expanding profit margins and notable return on equity. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow. Get the full Monsanto Ratings Report now.

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2. As of noon trading, EOG Resources ( EOG) is up $0.63 (0.7%) to $86.88 on light volume. Thus far, 1.4 million shares of EOG Resources exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3.9 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $86.34-$87.15 after having opened the day at $87.00 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $86.25.

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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 $48.3 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are down 4.4% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are 13 analysts who rate EOG Resources a buy, 3 analysts rate it a sell, and 6 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 its 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 $1.87 (1.8%) to $103.49 on light volume. Thus far, 1.1 million shares of LyondellBasell Industries exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3.4 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $102.25-$104.08 after having opened the day at $102.50 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $101.62.

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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 $49.5 billion and is part of the chemicals industry. Shares are up 28.0% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Monday. 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 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 its 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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