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Tickers in this Article: SSRI, RXN, CLF, UFPI, AVD, NEU, CBT
The Nasdaq has been relatively flat, the S&P 500 has climbed 0.1% and the Dow is trading up 0.2% so far today. 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 biggest movers in the Basic Materials sector (XLB) (+0.2%) are:
CompanyMarket CapPercentage Change
Silver Standard Resources Inc (Nasdaq:SSRI)$1.14 billion-4.7%
Rexnord (NYSE:RXN)$2 billion+3.1%
Cliffs Natural Resources (NYSE:CLF)$4.37 billion-3.1%
Universal Forest Products (Nasdaq:UFPI)$747.1 million-2.3%
American (NYSE:AVD)$957.7 million-2.1%
NewMarket (NYSE:NEU)$3.43 billion+2.1%
Cabot (NYSE:CBT)$2.34 billion-1.9%
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Silver Standard Resources Inc (Nasdaq:SSRI) is down 4.7% to reach $13.07 per share. The company is currently trading a volume of 480,050 shares.

Rising 3.1%, Rexnord (NYSE:RXN) is currently trading at $21.34 per share. So far today, 290,607 shares have changed hands, consistent with the volume from yesterday lighter than yesterday's volume of 724,475 shares.

Cliffs Natural Resources (NYSE:CLF) is trading at $29.07 per share, down 3.1%. This morning, the company is trading a volume of 4.7 million shares. This is 0.6 times the average volume over the last three months.

Universal Forest Products (Nasdaq:UFPI) has fallen 2.3% and is currently trading at $37.07 per share. The company's volume is currently 9,536 shares for the day, 0.2 times the current daily average.

At $33.63, American (NYSE:AVD) has slipped 2.1%. So far today, the company's volume is 108,376 shares.

NewMarket (NYSE:NEU) has risen 2.1% and is currently trading at $269.30 per share. This morning, 32,982 shares have been traded, while it was 159,120 shares yesterday.

After a decline of 1.9%, Cabot (NYSE:CBT) has hit a share price of $36.82. The company's volume for the day so far is 109,332 shares. This is 0.3 times its 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. However, these fundamental metrics must be analyzed with historic data, industry information in addition to firm specific financial statements.

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