The Basic Materials sector (XLB) showed little movement while the S&P 500 gained 1.8% 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 1.6%.

Pacific Ethanol (PEIX) was a major loser in the sector, falling 13.8% (-5 cents) to close at 33 cents with 4.1 million shares moving. The stock traded in a range of 32 cents to 37 cents.

Increasing 8.8% (+$3.61) to close at $44.51, LyondellBasell Industries (LYB) was a major gainer in the sector. Today, 8.8 million shares traded hands. The stock traded in a range of $42.89 to $44.99. Share price is up, having risen $5.61 (14.4%) from $38.90 on June 27, 2012.

Rockwood Holdings (ROC) rose 5.2% to close at $44.21, cross its 50-day moving average of $43.84 and 200-day moving average of $47.65. Nevsun Resources (NSU) declined 4.6% to close at $3.74, moving below its 50-day moving average of $3.30 and 200-day moving average of $3.89.

Haynes International (HAYN) rose 5.2% to close at $48.90, approaching its 50-day moving average of $50.24. It has also moved closer to its 200-day moving average of $56.48. Gushan Environmental Energy (CCJ) fell 2.6% to close at $1.47, moving closer to its 50-day moving average of $1.44. Also, the stock moved closer to its 200-day moving average of $21.35.

Ashland (ASH) hit a new 52-week high today, reaching $71.14 to top the previous high of $70.30.

Omega Flex (OFLX) hit a new 52-week low today, hitting $10.01 to fall below the previous low of $10.04.