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Tickers in this Article: PPO, WLK, IPHS, ALB, SYT, KIOR, GOLD
The market is currently up, with the Nasdaq up 1.3%, the S&P 500 rising 1% and the Dow climbing 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.

Underperforming the market overall, the Basic Materials sector (XLB) is up 1%, and these are its current biggest movers:
CompanyMarket CapPercentage Change
Polypore International (NYSE:PPO)$1.86 billion+4%
Westlake (NYSE:WLK)$4.94 billion+3.2%
Innophos Holdings (Nasdaq:IPHS)$1.03 billion+2.8%
Albemarle (NYSE:ALB)$5.04 billion+2.7%
Syngenta AG (NYSE:SYT)$34.98 billion+2.3%
KiOR (Nasdaq:KIOR)$664.5 million-2.2%
Randgold Resources Ltd (Nasdaq:GOLD)$9.61 billion+2.1%
Broker Summary: Charles Schwab Online Brokerage

Polypore International (NYSE:PPO) has moved up 4% and is currently trading at $41.45 per share. So far today, the company's volume is 133,127 shares. This is 0.4 times its average volume over the past three months.

Westlake (NYSE:WLK) has risen 3.2% and is currently trading at $76.48 per share. So far today, the company's volume is 110,644 shares, 0.2 times its current daily average.

Innophos Holdings (Nasdaq:IPHS) is currently trading at $48.99 per share, a 2.8% increase. So far today, 47,927 shares have changed hands.

After rising 2.7%, Albemarle (NYSE:ALB) is currently trading at a share price of $57.93. The company's volume is currently 201,107 shares for the day, consistent with the volume from yesterday which is likely to result in less activity than yesterday's volume of 452,040 shares.

Increasing 2.3%, Syngenta AG (NYSE:SYT) is trading at $78.43 per share. The company's volume for the day so far is 113,272 shares. This is 0.8 times the current three-month average.

At $6.18, KiOR (Nasdaq:KIOR) has slipped 2.2%. The company's volume is currently 39,697 shares for the day, 0.1 times the current daily average.

Rising 2.1%, Randgold Resources Ltd (Nasdaq:GOLD) is currently trading at $106.78 per share. This morning, the company is trading a volume of 145,696 shares.

The Bottom Line The nature of the market is such that stocks will have good days and bad days. It is important to weigh current activity against historical performance when making any investment decisions. However, these fundamental metrics must be analyzed with historic data, industry information in addition to firm specific financial statements.

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