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Tickers in this Article: CLF, AEM, MEOH, CIR, NEM, UFPI, IPHS
So far today, the Nasdaq has decreased 0.5%, the S&P 500 has declined 0.3% and the Dow has moved little. 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) has risen 0.1% despite little change in the market overall. Currently, the biggest movers in the sector are:
CompanyMarket CapPercentage Change
Cliffs Natural Resources (NYSE:CLF)$4.05 billion+3.1%
Agnico-Eagle Mines Limited (NYSE:AEM)$9.47 billion-2.7%
Methanex Corporation (Nasdaq:MEOH)$2.87 billion+2.7%
CIRCOR International (NYSE:CIR)$622.2 million-2.6%
Newmont Mining (NYSE:NEM)$22.45 billion-2%
Universal Forest Products (Nasdaq:UFPI)$723.2 million+1.9%
Innophos Holdings (Nasdaq:IPHS)$1.05 billion-1.8%
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Cliffs Natural Resources (NYSE:CLF) is at $29.27 per share after an increase of 3.1%. The company's volume for the day so far is 5.3 million shares. This is consistent with the average over the past three months.

Falling 2.7%, Agnico-Eagle Mines Limited (NYSE:AEM) is currently at a share price of $53.61. The company's volume is currently 622,053 shares for the day, in keeping with its current daily average.

Methanex Corporation (Nasdaq:MEOH) has risen 2.7% and is currently trading at $31.33 per share. The company's volume for the day so far is 106,837 shares.

Currently trading at $34.78 per share, CIRCOR International (NYSE:CIR) has fallen 2.6%. This morning, 24,336 shares have been traded,.

Newmont Mining (NYSE:NEM) has decreased to $44.75 per share, a 2% fall. This morning, the company is trading a volume of three million shares. This is in keeping with the average volume over the past three months.

Universal Forest Products (Nasdaq:UFPI) is currently trading at $37.22 per share, a 1.9% increase. So far today, the company's volume is 10,383 shares, 0.2 times its current daily average.

Innophos Holdings (Nasdaq:IPHS) is currently trading at a share price of $47.52, a 1.8% decline. So far today, 18,620 shares have changed hands.

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. 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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