The S&P 500 lost 0.2% while the Basic Materials sector (XLB) showed little movement during trading today.

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 down 0.9% over the last seven trading days while the S&P 500 went up 0.1%.

BioFuel Energy (BIOF) rose 17.7% to close at $2.93, cross its 50-day moving average of $2.53 and 200-day moving average of $1.17. Sinopec Shanghai Petrochemical (SHI) declined 4.3% to close at $28.22, moving below its 50-day moving average of $29.20 and 200-day moving average of $33.55.

International Tower Hill Mines Ltd(USA (THM) rose 9.4% to close at $2.91, approaching its 50-day moving average of $3.01. It has also moved closer to its 200-day moving average of $3.89. Quaker Chemical (MATW) fell 4.2% to close at $43.89, moving closer to its 50-day moving average of $43.32. Also, the stock moved closer to its 200-day moving average of $31.29.

Increasing 7.5% (+26 cents) to close at $3.74, Verenium Corporation (VRNM) was a major gainer in the sector. Today, 56,939 shares traded hands. The stock traded in a range of $3.47 to $3.85. Over the last three months, the stock has lost 79 cents (-17.5%) from a price of $4.53 on April 18, 2012.

Omega Flex (OFLX) was a major loser in the sector. Its price dropped 5.6% (-67 cents) to close at $11.21, as 13,144 shares moved. The stock traded between $11.05 and $11.68. The stock is down over the last three months, having fallen $1.13 (-9.2%) from $12.34 on April 18, 2012.

Rentech Nitrogen Partners (RNF) hit a new 52-week high today, reaching $30.68 to top the previous high of $30.39.