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.

EXCLUSIVE OFFER: See inside Jim Cramer's multi-million dollar charitable trust portfolio to see the stocks he thinks could be potential winners. Click here to see his holdings for 14-days FREE.

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.

EXCLUSIVE OFFER: See inside Jim Cramer's multi-million dollar charitable trust portfolio to see the stocks he thinks could be potential winners. Click here to see his holdings for 14-days FREE.

If you liked this article you might like

Why Bayer's $66 Billion Takeover of Monsanto Probably Won't Happen Until 2018

Hurricane Maria Has Quickly Become Another Category 5 Storm

Democrats Target Megamergers in Populist Political Play

Bayer, Monsanto Merger Under Scrutiny by EU Commission

Monsanto's Confusing Weed Killer Instructions Drive Farmers to Court