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Tickers in this Article: CHMT, CLF, BKI, AEM, KALU, DEL, TNH
It's been a bad day for the market after the morning's trading. The Nasdaq has fallen 1%; the S&P 500 is trading down 0.6%; and the Dow has declined 0.8%. The basic materials sector is the category of stocks that accounts for companies involved with the discovery, development and processing of raw materials. This sector includes the mining and refining of metals, chemical producers and forestry products. The basic materials sector is sensitive to changes in the business cycle. Because the sector supplies materials for construction, it depends on a strong economy. This sector is also sensitive to supply and demand fluctuations because the price of raw materials, such as gold or other metals, is largely demand driven.

The Basic Materials sector (XLB) is down 0.9%, outperforming the market overall. Currently, the biggest movers in the sector are:
CompanyMarket CapPercentage Change
Chemtura (NYSE:CHMT)$1.77 billion+4.8%
Cliffs Natural Resources (NYSE:CLF)$5.02 billion-3.1%
Buckeye Technologies (NYSE:BKI)$922.2 million+2.6%
Agnico-Eagle Mines Limited (NYSE:AEM)$8.87 billion-2%
Kaiser (Nasdaq:KALU)$1.12 billion-2%
Deltic (NYSE:DEL)$773.4 million-1.9%
Terra Nitrogen Company (NYSE:TNH)$3.75 billion+1.8%
Forex Broker Summary: UFXMarkets

Chemtura (NYSE:CHMT) has moved up 4.8% and is currently trading at $18.94 per share. The company's volume is currently 810,493 shares for the day, 0.7 times the average daily volume.

Cliffs Natural Resources (NYSE:CLF) has decreased to $34.16 per share, a 3.1% fall. So far today, two million shares of the company's stock have changed hands. This is a sign that there will be less trading activity than there was yesterday.

Buckeye Technologies (NYSE:BKI) is up 2.6% to reach a current price of $24.47 per share. So far today, the company's volume is 152,020 shares, in keeping with the average volume over the past three months.

Agnico-Eagle Mines Limited (NYSE:AEM) has fallen 2% and is currently trading at $50.57 per share. So far today, the company's volume is 678,152 shares.

Kaiser (Nasdaq:KALU) is down 2% to reach $56.78 per share. The company's volume is currently 23,814 shares for the day, 0.3 times the average daily volume.

Deltic (NYSE:DEL) is trading at $59.91 per share, down 1.9%. The company's volume is currently 8,509 shares. This is a sign that there will be less trading activity than there was yesterday.

Terra Nitrogen Company (NYSE:TNH) is at $206.10 per share after an increase of 1.8%. With 11,722 shares changing hands so far today, the company's volume is 0.3 times the current three-month average.

The Bottom Line The nature of the market is such that stocks will have good days and bad days. Paying close attention to the previous ratios will help you identify key times to adjust your strategy. Tools like valuation ratios and profit margins, however, are only as useful as the context you put them in; remember to take historical data and competitor performance into account.

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