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Tickers in this Article: MCP, CLF, AVD, LXU, DOV, GOLD, SCL
The Nasdaq has increased 0.9%, the S&P 500 has increased 0.5% and the Dow has moved up 0.2% on a good day for the market so far. 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 0.4%, underperforming the market overall. The biggest movers in the sector are currently:
CompanyMarket CapPercentage Change
Molycorp (NYSE:MCP)$955.5 million-12.8%
Cliffs Natural Resources (NYSE:CLF)$5.02 billion+4.9%
American (NYSE:AVD)$856.4 million+4.2%
LSB Industries (NYSE:LXU)$837.2 million+2.9%
Dover (NYSE:DOV)$10.67 billion+2.8%
Randgold Resources Ltd (Nasdaq:GOLD)$10.57 billion-2.4%
Stepan (NYSE:SCL)$982.2 million+1.9%
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Taking a 12.8% hit, Molycorp (NYSE:MCP) is currently trading at $7.57 per share. With 9.8 million shares changing hands so far today, the company's volume is 1.9 times the average volume over the last three months.

After rising 4.9%, Cliffs Natural Resources (NYSE:CLF) is currently trading at a share price of $36.98. The company's volume for the day so far is 4.6 million shares.

American (NYSE:AVD) is up 4.2% to reach a current price of $31.81 per share. At 75,466 shares, the company's volume so far today is consistent with the volume from yesterday.

Rising 2.9%, LSB Industries (NYSE:LXU) is currently trading at $38.48 per share. This morning, the company's volume is 46,973 shares. This is 0.3 times its average daily volume.

After an increase of 2.8%, Dover (NYSE:DOV) has reached a current price of $61.27. The company's volume is currently 980,242 shares for the day, 0.7 times its current three-month average.

Falling 2.4%, Randgold Resources Ltd (Nasdaq:GOLD) is currently at a share price of $112.20. So far today, the company's volume is 242,222 shares.

Increasing 1.9%, Stepan (NYSE:SCL) is trading at $96.27 per share. So far today, the company's volume is 17,963 shares,.

The Bottom Line No matter the economic climate, Wall Street will always have stocks that make major moves each week. It is important to weigh current activity against historical performance when making any investment decisions. 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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