On a trading day when the S&P 500 shrank 2.5%, the Basic Materials sector (XLB) exceeded the market overall. The Materials Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLB) climbed 99.7%.
While being down today, the ETF, as a proxy for sector performance, tracked farther from the overall market today than over the past week. Entering today's trading, XLB was down 99.7% over the last seven trading days while the S&P 500 was down 3.3%.
International Tower Hill Mines Ltd(USA (THM) rose 12.3% to close at $3.64, cross its 50-day moving average of $3.47 and 200-day moving average of $4.36.
Mag Silver (MVG) rose 10.4% to close at $8.50, approaching its 50-day moving average of $8.62. It has also moved closer to its 200-day moving average of $8.73. Trex Company (TREX) fell 7% to close at $27.05, moving down to 1.2% above its 200-day moving average of $26.72.
Alexco Resource (AXU) was a major gainer in the sector, rising 11.1% (+51 cents) to close at $5.11 with 666,435 shares moving. The stock traded in a range of $4.72 to $5.29. The stock has been on a downward trajectory over the last two months, decreasing $2.08 (-28.9%) from a price of $7.19 on April 3, 2012. Agnico-Eagle Mines (AEM) and First Majestic Silver (AG), in the same sector, also saw major gains today.
Westlake Chemical Corporation (WLK) was a major loser in the sector, falling 8.5% (-$4.63) to close at $49.86 with one million shares moving. The stock traded between $49.65 and $53.02. Shares are down over the last two months as the price has dropped $14.88 (-23%) from a price of $64.74 on April 3, 2012.
Potash Corp./Saskatchewan (POT) hit a new 52-week low today, hitting $37.49 to fall below the previous low of $38.31.