Two out of the three major indices are trading lower today with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) trading down 88 points (-0.5%) at 17,785 as of Tuesday, May 31, 2016, 12:55 PM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,627 issues advancing vs. 1,333 declining with 171 unchanged.

The Basic Materials sector currently sits up 1.5% versus the S&P 500, which is down 0.2%. Top gainers within the sector include Energy Transfer Equity ( ETE), up 7.6%, Plains GP Holdings ( PAGP), up 7.5%, Williams Companies ( WMB), up 5.3%, Encana ( ECA), up 5.2% and Plains All American Pipeline ( PAA), up 5.2%. On the negative front, top decliners within the sector include BP ( BP), down 2.1%, Statoil ASA ( STO), down 2.1% and Exxon Mobil ( XOM), down 0.8%.

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

3. Marathon Oil ( MRO) is one of the companies pushing the Basic Materials sector higher today. As of noon trading, Marathon Oil is up $0.36 (2.8%) to $13.26 on light volume. Thus far, 9.8 million shares of Marathon Oil exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 31.9 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $13.09-$13.58 after having opened the day at $13.10 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $12.90.

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Marathon Oil Corporation operates as an energy company. It operates through three segments: North America E&P, International E&P, and Oil Sands Mining. Marathon Oil has a market cap of $10.9 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are up 2.5% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are 8 analysts who rate Marathon Oil a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 7 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Marathon Oil as a sell. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its poor profit margins, weak operating cash flow, generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself, disappointing return on equity and feeble growth in its earnings per share. Get the full Marathon Oil Ratings Report now.

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2. As of noon trading, Devon Energy ( DVN) is up $0.65 (1.8%) to $36.55 on light volume. Thus far, 3.0 million shares of Devon Energy exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 12.7 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $36.05-$37.16 after having opened the day at $36.19 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $35.90.

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Devon Energy Corporation, an independent energy company, primarily engages in the exploration, development, and production of oil, natural gas, and natural gas liquids (NGLs) in the United States and Canada. It operates approximately 19,000 wells. Devon Energy has a market cap of $18.8 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are up 12.2% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are 18 analysts who rate Devon Energy a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 3 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Devon Energy as a sell. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its disappointing return on equity, weak operating cash flow, generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself and generally high debt management risk. Get the full Devon Energy Ratings Report now.

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1. As of noon trading, Monsanto ( MON) is up $2.57 (2.4%) to $112.06 on heavy volume. Thus far, 5.9 million shares of Monsanto exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 4.3 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $109.94-$113.22 after having opened the day at $110.57 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $109.49.

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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 $47.8 billion and is part of the chemicals industry. Shares are up 11.1% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday. 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 expanding profit margins and notable return on equity. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself. Get the full Monsanto 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).