3 Stocks Pushing The Basic Materials Sector Downward

One out of the three major indices are trading lower today with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) trading up 16 points (0.1%) at 16,807 as of Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2015, 12:55 PM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 2,056 issues advancing vs. 929 declining with 159 unchanged.

The Basic Materials sector currently sits up 0.7% versus the S&P 500, which is unchanged. Top gainers within the sector include ArcelorMittal ( MT), up 7.0%, Vale ( VALE), up 6.3%, China Petroleum & Chemical ( SNP), up 4.8%, PetroChina ( PTR), up 3.9% and Canadian Natural Resources ( CNQ), up 3.3%.

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

3. Marathon Petroleum ( MPC) is one of the companies pushing the Basic Materials sector lower today. As of noon trading, Marathon Petroleum is down $0.81 (-1.6%) to $49.23 on average volume. Thus far, 2.5 million shares of Marathon Petroleum exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 5.8 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $48.93-$51.13 after having opened the day at $50.64 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $50.04.

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Marathon Petroleum Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, engages in refining, marketing, retailing, and transporting petroleum products primarily in the United States. It operates through three segments: Refining & Marketing, Speedway, and Pipeline Transportation. Marathon Petroleum has a market cap of $27.1 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are up 10.9% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 8 analysts that rate Marathon Petroleum a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 3 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Marathon Petroleum as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, notable return on equity, attractive valuation levels, good cash flow from operations and growth in earnings per share. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins. Get the full Marathon Petroleum Ratings Report now.

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2. As of noon trading, Phillips 66 ( PSX) is down $1.04 (-1.3%) to $81.54 on average volume. Thus far, 2.1 million shares of Phillips 66 exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 4.3 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $81.26-$83.79 after having opened the day at $82.94 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $82.58.

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Phillips 66 operates as an energy manufacturing and logistics company. It operates through four segments: Midstream, Chemicals, Refining, and Marketing and Specialties (M&S). Phillips 66 has a market cap of $44.0 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are up 15.2% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 9 analysts that rate Phillips 66 a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 3 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Phillips 66 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 notable return on equity. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins. Get the full Phillips 66 Ratings Report now.

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1. As of noon trading, ConocoPhillips ( COP) is down $0.54 (-1.0%) to $54.60 on heavy volume. Thus far, 8.6 million shares of ConocoPhillips exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 11.0 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $53.84-$56.38 after having opened the day at $55.94 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $55.14.

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ConocoPhillips explores for, produces, transports, and markets crude oil, bitumen, natural gas, liquefied natural gas, and natural gas liquids worldwide. ConocoPhillips has a market cap of $65.3 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are down 20.2% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 6 analysts that rate ConocoPhillips a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 7 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates ConocoPhillips as a hold. 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. However, as a counter to these strengths, 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 ConocoPhillips 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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