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Tickers in this Article: BCPC, CLF, HAYN, KRA, GGC, PPO, NEM
The market is having a bad day so far: the Nasdaq has declined 1.1%; the S&P 500 has fallen 0.6%; and the Dow has slipped 0.3%. 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.

Despite a bad day for the market overall so far, the Basic Materials sector (XLB) is up 0.5% and its biggest movers are currently:
CompanyMarket CapPercentage Change
Balchem (Nasdaq:BCPC)$1.06 billion+4.5%
Cliffs Natural Resources (NYSE:CLF)$5.04 billion+2.5%
Haynes International (Nasdaq:HAYN)$642.8 million-2%
Kraton Performance Polymers (NYSE:KRA)$764.5 million+1.9%
Georgia (NYSE:GGC)$1.47 billion-1.7%
Polypore International (NYSE:PPO)$2.1 billion+1.6%
Newmont Mining (NYSE:NEM)$21.74 billion+1.4%
Broker Summary: TD Ameritrade Thinkorswim

Balchem (Nasdaq:BCPC) has risen 4.5% and is currently trading at $37.73 per share. So far today, the company's volume is 80,874 shares.

Cliffs Natural Resources (NYSE:CLF) has increased to a share price of $36.24, a 2.5% rise. So far today, the company's volume is 2.2 million shares, 0.2 times the current daily average.

Haynes International (Nasdaq:HAYN) is down 2% to reach $51.26 per share. The company's volume is currently 6,751 shares. This is a sign that there will be less trading activity than there was yesterday.

Rising 1.9%, Kraton Performance Polymers (NYSE:KRA) is currently trading at $24.15 per share. The company's volume for the day so far is 30,042 shares, 0.1 times the average volume over the last three months.

Georgia (NYSE:GGC) has fallen 1.7% and is currently trading at $41.78 per share. So far today, 213,931 shares have changed hands.

Polypore International (NYSE:PPO) is at $45.89 per share after an increase of 1.6%. So far today, the company's volume is 53,228 shares, 0.1 times the average daily volume.

After an increase of 1.4%, Newmont Mining (NYSE:NEM) has reached a current price of $44.87. The company's volume for the day so far is 1.4 million shares. This is on pace to reach yesterday's trading volume of 2.6 million shares.

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. 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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