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Tickers in this Article: POT, MOS, MRC, HAYN, GEF, CF, IOSP
It's been a good morning for the market. The Nasdaq has risen 1.7%; the S&P 500 has climbed 1%; and the Dow has moved up 0.9%. 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 up 0.7%, underperforming the market overall. The biggest movers in the sector are currently:
CompanyMarket CapPercentage Change
Potash Corp./Saskatchewan (NYSE:POT)$34.31 billion+3.2%
Mosaic (NYSE:MOS)$23.15 billion+2.4%
MRC Global (NYSE:MRC)$2.76 billion-2.2%
Haynes International (Nasdaq:HAYN)$599.3 million+2.1%
Greif (NYSE:GEF)$2.01 billion-2.1%
CF Industries (NYSE:CF)$13.43 billion+2%
Innospec (Nasdaq:IOSP)$756.1 million-1.7%
Broker Summary: OptionsXpress Online Trading Platform

After an increase of 3.2%, Potash Corp./Saskatchewan (NYSE:POT) has reached a current price of $41.14. So far today, 2.9 million shares have changed hands,.

Mosaic (NYSE:MOS) has increased to a share price of $55.71, a 2.4% rise. This morning, the company is trading a volume of 1.7 million shares. This is 0.7 times its average volume over the past three months.

MRC Global (NYSE:MRC) is trading at $26.55 per share, down 2.2%. The company's volume is currently 115,129 shares for the day, 0.1 times its current daily average.

Haynes International (Nasdaq:HAYN) is currently trading at $49.79 per share, a 2.1% increase. The company is currently trading a volume of 6,364 shares.

Greif (NYSE:GEF) is currently trading at a share price of $41.53, a 2.1% decline. This morning, 101,823 shares have been traded, lighter than yesterday's volume of 262,122 shares.

CF Industries (NYSE:CF) has risen 2% and is currently trading at $217.90 per share. So far today, the company's volume is 293,546 shares. This is 0.4 times the average volume over the last three months.

Innospec (Nasdaq:IOSP) has fallen 1.7% and is currently trading at $31.92 per share. The company's volume is currently 103,985 shares for the day, 0.8 times the average daily volume.

The Bottom Line On any given day, a particular stock may see positive or negative change in its share price. Daily stock performance should be weighed against historical performance and put in context of the market overall. Keep in mind that all these ratios should be compared against historical numbers and industry information in order to get a more complete picture.

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