During trading today, the S&P 500 dropped 0.5%, and the Basic Materials sector (XLB) showed little change.

The ETF, as a proxy for the sector, tracked closer to the overall market today than over the past week. Going into trading today, XLB was up 3.8% over the last seven trading days while the S&P 500 went up 2.7%.

Material Sciences Corporation (MASC) was a significant gainer in the sector, rising 8.3%. The stock closed at $8.97 with 45,947 shares moving. The stock traded in a range of $8.31 to $9.13. Shares have been on on the rise over the past month, climbing 97 cents (12.1%) from a price of $8 on June 5, 2012.

KiOR (KIOR) was one of the sector's big losers, as its price dropped 6% (-60 cents) to close at $9.35. 207,405 shares of the stock moved. The stock traded between $9.25 and $9.91. Shares have been on an upward trajectory over the past month, rising $1.56 (20%) from a price of $7.79 on June 5, 2012.

Sinopec Shanghai Petrochemical (SHI) rose 2.5% to close at $30.06, cross its 50-day moving average of $29.43 and 200-day moving average of $33.93. UFP Technologies (UFPT) declined 5.4% to close at $16.49, moving below its 50-day moving average of $16.68 and 200-day moving average of $16.73.

Universal Stainless \x26 Alloy Products (DEL) fell 4.7% to close at $41.90, moving closer to its 50-day moving average of $40.79. Also, the stock moved closer to its 200-day moving average of $61.83. Georgia Gulf Corporation (GGC) rose 4.7% to close at $26.96, approaching its 50-day moving average of $27.36. It has also moved closer to its 200-day moving average of $29.18.

AEP Industries (AEPI) hit a new 52-week high today, reaching $45.78 to top the previous high of $44.12.