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Tickers in this Article: AGU, GOLD, LXU, GGC, HMY, CDE, RXN
On a bad day for the market, the Nasdaq has slipped 2.7%, the S&P 500 has declined 2.6% and the Dow is trading down 2.5%. 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 2.5%, outperforming the market overall. Currently, the biggest movers in the sector are:
CompanyMarket CapPercentage Change
Agrium Inc (NYSE:AGU)$16 billion-10.5%
Randgold Resources Ltd (Nasdaq:GOLD)$11.16 billion-8.7%
LSB Industries (NYSE:LXU)$935.7 million-7.3%
Georgia (NYSE:GGC)$1.32 billion+5.7%
Harmony Gold Mining Co (NYSE:HMY)$3.48 billion+5.1%
Coeur d\'Alene (NYSE:CDE)$2.17 billion+5%
Rexnord (NYSE:RXN)$1.71 billion+4.6%
Broker Summary: E-Trade Financial

Shares of Agrium Inc (NYSE:AGU) are currently trading at $95.88, a steep decline of 10.5%. So far today, the company's volume is 2.9 million shares, 3.4 times the average volume over the last three months.

Currently trading at $110.91 per share, Randgold Resources Ltd (Nasdaq:GOLD) has fallen 8.7%. So far today, the company's volume is 791,269 shares.

LSB Industries (NYSE:LXU) is trading at $38.81 per share, down 7.3%. So far today, the company's volume is 146,350 shares, 1.4 times the average daily volume.

Rising 5.7%, Georgia (NYSE:GGC) is currently trading at $40.36 per share. The company's volume is currently 1.2 million shares. Yesterday, volume was only 614,116 shares.

Harmony Gold Mining Co (NYSE:HMY) is up 5.1% to reach a current price of $8.47 per share. The company's volume for the day so far is 1.6 million shares, 0.7 times the current three-month average.

Coeur d'Alene (NYSE:CDE) has moved up 5% and is currently trading at $25.31 per share. The company's volume for the day so far is three million shares.

Rexnord (NYSE:RXN) has risen 4.6% to hit a current price of $18.75 per share. So far today, the company's volume is 284,180 shares, 2.4 times the average daily volume.

The Bottom Line The nature of the market is such that stocks will have good days and bad days. Daily stock performance should be weighed against historical performance and put in context of the market overall. 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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