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Tickers in this Article: TIE, KRO, OMG, SHW, PCP, ATI, LUK
After the morning's trading, the Nasdaq is trading down 0.1%, the S&P 500 has remained steady and the Dow has fallen 0.1%. 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
Titanium (NYSE:TIE)$2.03 billion+42%
Kronos Worldwide (NYSE:KRO)$1.47 billion+10.3%
OM Group (NYSE:OMG)$600.8 million+6.6%
Sherwin-Williams (NYSE:SHW)$14.52 billion+6.1%
Precision Castparts (NYSE:PCP)$24.9 billion+5.8%
Allegheny Technologies (NYSE:ATI)$2.87 billion+5.2%
Leucadia (NYSE:LUK)$5.33 billion-4.5%
Beginner's Guide To

Titanium (NYSE:TIE) is currently at $16.45 per share after a dramatic increase of 42%. The company's volume is currently 25.3 million shares for the day, 20 times its current daily average.

Kronos Worldwide (NYSE:KRO) is trading at $13.98 per share, a significant rise of 10.3%. The company is trading at a volume of 733,918 shares.

OM Group (NYSE:OMG) has risen 6.6% and is currently trading at $19.89 per share. The company's volume for the day so far is 173,029 shares, 0.6 times the current three-month average.

Rising 6.1%, Sherwin-Williams (NYSE:SHW) is currently trading at $149.45 per share. So far today, the company's volume is 1.3 million shares.

Precision Castparts (NYSE:PCP) has risen 5.8% to hit a current price of $181.20 per share. At 971,119 shares, the company's volume so far today is 1.2 times the current daily average.

Increasing 5.2%, Allegheny Technologies (NYSE:ATI) is trading at $28.18 per share. The company's volume is currently 905,891 shares.

After a decline of 4.5%, Leucadia (NYSE:LUK) has hit a share price of $20.79. At 8.1 million shares, the company's volume so far today is 9.8 times its average over the past three months.

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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